Okay, this year the dates were a little different. The tax deadline was April 18th and extensions will be due October 17th. But it doesn't really change anything, if you haven't got your return to your tax professional by now you are courting disaster.
Why? First, because e-filing closes on Oct 17th. Returns not filed by that date will have to be mailed and you lose the advantages of e-filing. I, personally, don't like mailed returns, they're more work to file. This especially true this time of the year when the returns are thicker. On a less personal note, mailed returns aren't acknowledged by the IRS and to prove you sent the return on time you need use registered/certified mail or a private delivery service. Secondly, waiting to the last minute doesn't give anyone time if a real problem arises. This can range from computer problem to missing documents. This time of the year there is no room for delays while you find info you forgot, or missed. In April, missing info means estimating and paying the tax and extending the return. In October, it can mean the return won't be filed on time and could result in interest and penalties. Finally, most preparers have their lives back and really don't want to give it up because you procrastinated. Besides the late tax returns, we are doing payroll reports and quarterly financial reports. That happens in April too. But in April, we might have more help and we are probably putting in longer hours. Now, I want to go home at night and do something fun on the weekend. I have meetings, continuing education workshops, rehearsals and a wide variety of planned events taking my time (and I am sure the same is true for most tax pros.) I'll be flexible to help someone with a tax emergency. However, procrastination is not a tax emergency. Wait too long, and I might not have the time to finish the return by October 17th.
If your return is not prepared yet, there is still time. A lot will depend on how complex your return is and your preparer's schedule. And even more will depend on you to stop procrastinating. Not just getting the source material to them, but to quickly respond to your preparer's requests for info and questions and to pick up the return when it is ready. Hopefully, I have convinced you that October 17th is a deadline you can't afford to ignore.
The orginal "Oct 15th Is Not April 15th."