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What to do? File taxes now or later?
Old 04-11-2008, 11:00 AM   #1
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What to do? File taxes now or later?

We've been 2000 miles away from home since last Sept (dh is working here). When we left home I didn't give a thought to filing income taxes this April. I ran the numbers for a standard deduction & we would get a $200-$300 refund. Also, we would get the stimulus money of $1200. There is a lot of documentation and info, etc left at home that I would need to itemize deductions and likely get bigger refund.

If I file now using the standard deduction, I can file an *amended* itemized return in a month or 2 after we get home and I get things sorted out. Would doing this increase the chances of an audit?? :confused:

So..... whatcha think? Should I
  • File (twice) using standard deduction now, then file amended itemized return in a month or 2
  • File for an extension, then file the itemized return in a month or 2
  • Something else that I hadn't considered?
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Old 04-11-2008, 11:44 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bram View Post
We've been 2000 miles away from home since last Sept (dh is working here). When we left home I didn't give a thought to filing income taxes this April. I ran the numbers for a standard deduction & we would get a $200-$300 refund. Also, we would get the stimulus money of $1200. There is a lot of documentation and info, etc left at home that I would need to itemize deductions and likely get bigger refund.

If I file now using the standard deduction, I can file an *amended* itemized return in a month or 2 after we get home and I get things sorted out. Would doing this increase the chances of an audit?? :confused:

So..... whatcha think? Should I
  • File (twice) using standard deduction now, then file amended itemized return in a month or 2
  • File for an extension, then file the itemized return in a month or 2
  • Something else that I hadn't considered?
I would do the first one, but that's just me. If you owed money, you could file for an extension, but have to pay the bill by April 15th anyway.........
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:52 PM   #3
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You have a unique problem but I am wondering if the extension (and since you will not owe it "costs" nothing). The only question I would have is that when you do file within the terms of the extension would you still be eligible for the $1,200 "rebate". IMHO I think you would but it would be good to confirm it with the IRS and, if that is the case would negate the need to file twice. BTW if you did file twice the second time would be an amended return (1040X) which, while not complicated, can be a bit more difficult than the single 1040.
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:02 PM   #4
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I would probably file and extension and submit a return once I had all the information available. I'm all for doing everything to avoid bringing my file to the attention of the IRS.
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bram View Post
We've been 2000 miles away from home since last Sept (dh is working here). When we left home I didn't give a thought to filing income taxes this April. I ran the numbers for a standard deduction & we would get a $200-$300 refund. Also, we would get the stimulus money of $1200. There is a lot of documentation and info, etc left at home that I would need to itemize deductions and likely get bigger refund.

If I file now using the standard deduction, I can file an *amended* itemized return in a month or 2 after we get home and I get things sorted out. Would doing this increase the chances of an audit?? :confused:

So..... whatcha think? Should I
  • File (twice) using standard deduction now, then file amended itemized return in a month or 2
  • File for an extension, then file the itemized return in a month or 2
  • Something else that I hadn't considered?
i would file for an extension. it's the simplest way to go.
especially since you don't owe them any $$. i've done it a few times
without any problems (due to k-1's showing up late and other nonsense like
that).
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Old 04-12-2008, 07:25 AM   #6
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My two cents and YMMV. File now using the standard deduction. When you get home, run the numbers again itemizing your deductions. If it makes sense, file and amended return. You have up to three years to file an amended return.
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Old 04-12-2008, 07:35 AM   #7
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As you see from the responses, either choice will work. I would simply file an extension and file one correct return later. But that's just my way of doing things.
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Old 04-12-2008, 07:45 AM   #8
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edited - to correct factual error.

I say go for the extension. Just understand it will probably delay your stimulus check.
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Old 04-12-2008, 09:29 AM   #9
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For the last few years, I have always filed an extension.

If I think I am due a refund, I have already adjusted my withholding on my W4 so that I got my refund in my January paychecks. That is, I underwithheld by the amount of my refund.

If I think I owe taxes, then I pay that when I file an extension.

Then I file my tax return in October. Any refund I am owed, I have it applied to my next year's return since either (a) I got my refund already (see above) or (b) the refund should be small anyways.

As for chance of audit, I am told that returns filed in October have a lower chance of being audited.

As for the stimulus money, you will get it either way. We made too much money in 2007 get it, but we will get it based on our tax return for 2008. So as almost everyone has written: file an extension.
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