Tax Guru-Ker$tetter Letter
Saturday, January 26, 2002
Extra IRS Extensions
In a typical example of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing, different parts of the IRS don't communicate with each other. This is standard operating procedure for big government bureaucracies and has long ago ceased to be considered news when it concerns IRS.
Before October 15, when the normal second extension for 2000 1040s was set to expire, I sent IRS several additional extension requests for those tax returns, specifying a new due date of February 12, 2002 based on IRS's own Notice 2001-61 issued last October.
Some have been granted by IRS and some have been returned by IRS as denied, claiming that six months is the longest extension allowed by law. In typical IRS fashion, there has been no consistency in which Service Centers respond in which manner. It seems that some of the people opening the mail at the Service Centers didn't get the word about the September 11 terrorist attacks and the official IRS position of giving all affected parties until 2/12/02 to submit their 2000 income tax returns without penalty.
If this happens to you, it's no cause for alarm. First, no penalty will even be proposed if there is no tax due with the return. Second, if IRS does try to charge late penalties, more informed personnel will straighten matters out. I have already resolved some such cases with the Austin & Memphis Service Centers.