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Hi,
It seems to me that in recent years, unless my memory is wrong, that filing an extension was not necessary; that they got rid of that necessity. That one could pay by April 15 but file later (October?) without filing an extension.
Is this true?

Also, is there anything to the "rumor" that filing later (either right around April 15 or at the extension deadline) rather than early reduces the chance of an audit due to how busy they are at those times?

Thanks,
RB
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It seems to me that in recent years, unless my memory is wrong, that filing an extension was not necessary; that they got rid of that necessity. That one could pay by April 15 but file later (October?) without filing an extension.
Is this true?


Well, it depends on what you mean by 'filing an extension'. You can either file Form 4868, or if you are making a payment using DirectPay, EFTPS, or a credit or debit card, you can indicate with that payment that you are also requesting an extension, so that you don't have to separately file form 4868. But in either case, you are notifying the IRS that you want an extension, which I would consider to be 'filing for an extension'. If you consider not having to separately file Form 4868 as 'not filing for an extension' even though you requested an extension when making a payment, then I guess you could say you don't have to 'file an extension'.

Also, is there anything to the "rumor" that filing later (either right around April 15 or at the extension deadline) rather than early reduces the chance of an audit due to how busy they are at those times?

Since audits don't generally occur until later than those filing dates (up to 3 years later, if no fraud is suspected), I really doubt that filing at/near the filing deadline has anything to do with being chosen (or not) for an audit. If anything, I would suspect that things that might drive an audit, like out of norm income or deductions, are more likely to be filed closer to the deadlines, rather than earlier in the season. That said, since the IRS is pretty close-mouthed about how they make their audit selections, when the return is filed could always be one of their criteria. Here is information on audits from the IRS: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employe...

AJ
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It seems to me that in recent years, unless my memory is wrong, that filing an extension was not necessary; that they got rid of that necessity. That one could pay by April 15 but file later (October?) without filing an extension.
Is this true?


It's basically true if, and only if, you have all of your tax liability paid by April 15. If you goof and find you owe additional tax when you complete your return, a valid extension will avoid the late filing penalty. You'll still be subject to the late payment penalty.

Document match audits (CP 2000 notices) occur on a rolling basis as the source documents are processed. These used to begin about a year after the return due date, but recently I've been seeing some notices as early as mid-summer. "True" audits (the kind where you have to provide documentation for items which aren't reported on third-party documents, aren't selected until after the majority of returns are processed. With more than 250 million personal and business income tax returns filed each year, the IRS uses a tightly guarded formula to identify the returns which have the greatest potential for additional tax recovery. These audits typically begin in the second and third year of the audit window.

Ira
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Thanks AJ.
By "file an extension" I meant notifying the IRS in any manner. But a few years ago I thought something about this changed, whereby you didn't even have to notify them for the first extension, only for an additional (second) extension.
RB
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Thanks AJ.
By "file an extension" I meant notifying the IRS in any manner. But a few years ago I thought something about this changed, whereby you didn't even have to notify them for the first extension, only for an additional (second) extension.
RB

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There's now only one extension involved, for six months for individual returns, to October 15.

Bill
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