Pros and Cons of Filing a Tax Extension

It's easy to extend your tax return deadline to October by requesting a tax extension…but should you?

picture of a pro and con list for a tax extension
(Image credit: Getty Images)

This year, federal income tax returns were due by April 15 for most people. However, if you cannot file your return by the deadline for whatever reason, it's fairly easy to get the due date extended to October 15. All you have to do is request a tax extension filing a simple IRS form or paying your taxes electronically. Make sure you act before the original tax deadline, though.

Since the process is relatively simple, the question often becomes "Should you get a tax extension?" There are both advantages and disadvantages to requesting an extension and pushing back your tax filing deadline. So, whether you should get an extension comes down to your situation and preferences. What makes sense for you? To help you answer that question, here are a few pros and cons of waiting to file your tax return.

Rocky Mengle

Rocky Mengle was a Senior Tax Editor for Kiplinger from October 2018 to January 2023 with more than 20 years of experience covering federal and state tax developments. Before coming to Kiplinger, Rocky worked for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting, and Kleinrock Publishing, where he provided breaking news and guidance for CPAs, tax attorneys, and other tax professionals. He has also been quoted as an expert by USA Today, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, Accounting Today, and other media outlets. Rocky holds a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in History from Salisbury University.