August 16, 1991
Taxpayers to File Form 4868 Again Next Year
The Internal Revenue Service said today that it is
reconsidering its plans for an automated extension process. As a
result, APEX -- the Automated Processing of Extensions -- will not
begin in 1992 as previously announced.
The IRS initially proposed APEX to reduce the burden on
taxpayers who file extensions each year. The IRS noted that last
year almost 80 percent of the taxpayers who filed applications, Form
4868, had fully paid their tax by April 15th and received a refund
when they filed. According to IRS estimates, APEX would have saved
7.6 million hours of taxpayers' time and $5.5 million in processing
costs for the IRS.
"In recent months, a number of taxpayers and practitioners
raised a variety of concerns over the impact and implementation of
APEX," IRS Commissioner Fred Goldberg explained. "We're now working
to see if we can address those concerns."
IRS decided to announce the change now because many people --
state tax administrators, accountants, computer programmers and IRS
forms and publications writers -- need time to prepare for the
upcoming filing season.
One concern raised by practitioners dealt with elections
taxpayers must make on timely filed returns (those returns filed by
the due date with extension). Practitioners felt that APEX did not
provide the certainty that the current application process provides.
This uncertainty raised questions of whether and how these elections
would be made.
"We will not implement APEX next year," said Goldberg. "We
believe everyone will be better served if we spend extra time now
identifying and responding to taxpayer and practitioner concerns."
"We're going to continue to look to reducing the burden on
taxpayers and we still believe the extension process can be
simplified for both taxpayer and the IRS."
Taxpayers seeking an automatic extension next year will again
file Form 4868 by April 15, 1992. There were just over 5 million
extension requests this year -- 40,000 fewer than in 1990.
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