Preparing and filing an extension with Intuit® ProConnect™ ProSeries® is simple and quick. However, remember that an extension of time to file your clients’ returns does not mean taxpayers have any additional time to pay their tax. If there is an amount owed, they still have the obligation to make that payment by the original deadline date.
As a result, taxpayers are either making a payment with their extension, or not – and this distinction will change how we prepare the extension with ProSeries.
Regardless of the situation, the first thing to do when preparing just about anything within ProSeries is completing the Federal Information Worksheet. This includes entering information about the taxpayer, and the spouse and/or dependents, if applicable. Also, by completing as much of the return as possible, ProSeries will calculate the current tax liability, and you will have a better idea of what the taxpayer will owe with the extension. After you have entered this information, you now have those two different situations to consider.
The Extension is Being Paper Filed, and There is no Payment Amount
If your clients do not need to submit a payment with their extensions, then you can simply print their extension Form 4868 in HomeBase. You can even batch print for multiple clients at once. Select the clients you want to print extensions forms for by using “CTRL” or “Shift” to select multiple files. Then, click on the “File” menu and choose “Print.”
Next, click on “Batch Print Forms” under “From HomeBase,” and go to the “Available Forms” list. Select the forms you want to print and click “Add.” Finally, go to the “copies” field, select the number of each form you want to print and click “Print.”
By printing the extensions this way, ProSeries automatically activates the extension for the client’s file and checks the extension’s “Freeze” checkbox. This will prevent the extension from updating when you make changes to the return later. After you have printed the returns, mail them according to the form instructions.
The Extension is Being Paper Filed, and There is a Payment Amount
You will need to complete the Form 4868 worksheet in order to guarantee an amount being paid is generated on the form.
Open Form 4868. Under “Important Information,” make sure you check the box to freeze the form. Again, this prevents any additional entries in the tax return from flowing to the extension. Next, enter any applicable entries in Part II, and then print and mail Form 4868.
The Extension is Being Electronically Filed
As always, complete all applicable parts of the Federal Information Worksheet, but pay special attention to Part VII – Electronic Filing of Extension Information. Here, you want to check the box “File Form 4868 electronically.” Then, click “QuickZoom to Form 4868 to mark the freeze box and enter the amount paid with Form 4868.” After you have checked the box to freeze the amounts flowing to the form, enter any applicable entries in Part II.
If there is an amount due with the extension, then you must complete part IX of the Federal Information Worksheet. If paying by check, select the “No” box. If your client wants to make an electronic payment, check the “Yes” box for “Use electronic funds withdrawal of Form 4868 balance due (EF ONLY).” Make sure that you complete the Financial Institution Information in the IRS Direct Deposit section above. Next, click “QuickZoom to the Form 4868 Electronic Filing Worksheet” to enter the debit date and amount.
Enter the payment date to withdraw tax payment in the “Electronic Funds Withdrawal – Amount paid with Form 4868” section. Remember, this date cannot be after the deadline. Verify the amount you are paying with Form 4868 and make any corrections on line 7 of Form 4868 if the number is not correct. Finally, review the “Practitioner PIN Information for Form 4868” and enter the signature date for “Electronic Funds Withdrawal Consent.”
If no amount is being paid with the extension, or if you have completed the above steps for electronic payment, then you are ready to review, convert and transmit the extension! First, review the return for errors. Go to the “Information” menu and select “Final Review.” Correct any Form 4868 errors and other errors categorized, as “You must fix this error.” Errors that read “You should fix this error” do not have to be fixed prior to transmitting the extension (but will need to be corrected prior to submitting the full return). Save the return and head to the EF Center HomeBase.
In the EF Center HomeBase View, clients marked for electronic filing of the 4868 should show the status “1st Extension Marked for EF.” Highlight one or several clients you want to transmit the extensions for, then simply convert and transmit just as you would for a normal e-file return. Your acknowledgments will be received just like usual.
Sorting Clients on Extension
There are two easy ways to view your clients on extension within ProSeries. The first is by viewing the default “Extension” column within the HomeBase view. If you have frozen Form 4868, then this column will read “Yes,” indicating an extension has been prepared for this client. The second way to view clients on extension is by viewing their status. This will tell you an extension was prepared and also allow you to see that the extension was filed. You can update this status by going to the Client Status Worksheets and checking the box for “Extension filed.” This will also include the date for reference purposes.
Clicking on either the “Extension” column or “Client Status” column will group your clients into their respective categories. This will allow you to view all of your clients on extension at the top or bottom of your client list. You can always save this view as the default view, or create a brand new HomeBase view by clicking on HomeBase and then either “Save View” or “Save View As.”
By filing an extension of time to file with ProSeries, you are giving yourself and your clients some extra time to gather information and complete the return. If you are filing the extension by paper or electronically, making a payment or not, ProSeries makes completing and filing the extension intuitive and easy in any situation. Moreover, when the extension deadline draws closer, ProSeries allows you to stay on top of your clients who have been extended so that you can use your time as efficiently as possible.
Editor’s note: Want more tips and tricks for ProSeries? Check out the ProSeries Video Resource Center.