Extension filers: Deadline is Oct. 16

Written on Oct 09, 2017

Taxpayers who filed for an extension and face an Oct. 16 filing deadline might need their adjusted gross income amount from their 2015 return to electronically file their 2016 tax return.

Taxpayers who have a valid extension and are in or affected by a federally declared disaster area might be allowed more time to file. Those impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria as well as people in parts of Michigan and West Virginia qualify for this relief. See the disaster relief page on IRS.gov for details.

Practitioners should remind clients that they should keep a copy of their tax returns and supporting documents for a minimum of three years. Prior year tax returns are even more important as the IRS makes changes to protect taxpayers and authenticate their identity.

Extension filers should plan ahead if they are using a software product for the first time. They should have kept a copy of their 2015 tax return or if not, will need to order a tax transcript, a process that can take 5-10 calendar days. The AGI is clearly labeled on both the tax return and the transcript.

Taxpayers who prepare their own electronic tax returns are required to electronically sign and validate their return. Using an electronic filing PIN is no longer an option. To authenticate their identities, taxpayers will also need to enter either of two items: their prior-year AGI or their prior-year self-select PIN and their date of birth. If married filing jointly, both taxpayers must authenticate their identities with this information.

Most tax-prep software automatically generates the prior-year AGI or self-select PIN for returning customers. However, taxpayers who are new to a software product must enter the prior-year AGI or prior-year self-select PIN themselves.

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