Guest Author - Kate Woods
The IRS is reducing the extension time from six months to five months on some business returns to correct a timing issue on returns that generate Schedule K-1 and other statements that individuals need to complete there personal returns. Currently if an individual extends their personal return the extended due date is October 15th. The problem results when they need information that is generated from a Partnership return or an Estate & Trust Return. These returns have the same exact extended due date of October 15th which can result in an individual not having the flow through information from them in time to file their extended personal return timely. The change will reduce the extension from six months to five months for Form 1065 US Return of Partnership Income, Form 1041 US Income Tax Return for Estates & Trusts, and Form 8804 Annual Return for Partnership Withholding Tax (Section 1446). IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said, “We want to correct this timing issue to ensure that all taxpayers have the information they need to file timely and stay in compliance with the law”. The change will be effective for extension requests for tax returns due on or after January 1, 2009 and is applicable to the above listed business returns with tax year ends after September 30, 2008.
S-Corporation returns also generate flow through Form K-1’s to be distributed to individual taxpayers, however because the extended due date for S-Corp returns is September 15th the same shared due date problems with individual returns does not exist. The new extended due date for the above forms will actually bring the business returns involved into line with the S-Corp return deadlines and hopefully will eliminate some confusion for individual taxpayers with flow through information.
While the owners of the business entities involved may a little annoyed by this change reducing their filing time, the benefit in making it possible for all involved parties in enabling timely filing should far outweigh any inconvenience. This change should be helpful in reducing a stressful situation for the individual taxpayers involved in this particular scenario which sometimes created hardship when the business returns were not completed in a manner that left enough turn around time for the personal returns to be prepared and filed timely.
The IRS seems to be committed to making it easier to comply with tax laws. Believe It Or Not there is even an IRS Office of Taxpayer Burden Reduction that was created in 2002. Taxpayer Burden is defined by the IRS as “the time and money taxpayers spend to comply with their federal tax obligations”. And here’s one more Believe It Or Not, the public is welcome to submit their ideas for Reducing Taxpayers Burden by filing a Form 13285A Reducing Tax Burden on America’s Taxpayers available at www.irs.gov by clicking on the Forms and Publications link. Of course there’s no guarantee that your idea to lessen taxpayer burden will be used. Major burden reduction initiatives are selected by the IRS Taxpayer Burden Reduction Council that consists of top level executives representing all major operating units of the IRS.
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