Strube CPA PC

Tax & Accounting Services for Individuals & Small Businesses

Attention California taxpayers, all but three counties (Lassen, Modoc, and Shasta) in the whole state have AUTOMATIC extensions to file AND pay 2022 taxes (and 2023 estimates if you pay quarterly estimates) to IRS and FTB until October 16, 2023.
Here is a link to an authoritative source for this.
There is a lot of misinformation circulating. Please STOP panicking about extensions. Let’s address some misconceptions around extensions:

  1. NORMALLY, an extension only gives you more time to FILE, but you still need to pay (a reasonable estimate of) the amount of tax you owe by the original deadline. That is NOT the case for taxpayers in affected California flooding counties.
  2. You do NOT personally have to experience flooding to qualify for this extension. It’s entirely about county residence to qualify.
  3. There is NO extra tax for filing an extension. Your tax pro may charge extra to calculate extension payments; everyone sets their pricing structure differently. It’s not criminal to charge for the work; the only thing is that pricing should be transparent.
  4. An extension does NOT increase your risk of audit. Urban legend. If you or someone you know was audited after extending their return, I can professionally guarantee there were other factors. The extension was NOT the cause of the audit. I extend my own personal returns most years. Would I do that if extensions increased my own risk of audit?
  5. It’s better to extend your return to make sure it’s filed accurately rather than rush and risk mistakes and have to amend your return later.
  6. In response to the “can we just file it now and amend later?” That is sloppy tax preparation. You and your tax pro sign the return under penalty of perjury that they are true, correct, and COMPLETE. Wait to file until they are done.
  7. There should be no point of pride in “never having needed an extension.” Just stop it with this.

😎 Tax laws have changed a lot in recent years, making tax return preparation more time-consuming. The same return 3 years ago now takes notably longer because of the complexity Congress has added to the tax code. It’s important to give your tax professional the time they need to do a thorough job. Legitimate tax professionals actually want a simpler tax code and are working to make that happen. Please don’t accuse them of trying to keep their jobs by making things complicated. They genuinely care about serving you with integrity and expertise.