How to File an Extension In 2018

If you’ve waited until now to contact a tax professional or CPA about filing your taxes, you’ve likely been told the bad news: they’re booked or they will need to file an extension on your behalf.

If you haven’t yet found a professional to file your taxes and you don’t want to file on your own, you should file an extension yourself as the deadline for doing so is just around the corner.

An extension buys you a grace period so a professional can still assist you after the tax filing deadline. An extension does not, however, extend the time you have to pay your taxes. If you believe you’ll owe taxes, you should make a payment now, using the following options:

Reason for Payment: Extension

Apply Payment To: 4868 (for 1040, 1040a, 1040EZ)

Tax Period for Payment: 2018


The deadline for filing an extension is April 15. You can e-file an extension for free. Alternatively, you can find Form 4868 on the IRS website to file for an extension via mail. It will need to be postmarked by April 15th for your extension to be granted.

Filing an extension will give you until October 15, 2019 to file your tax return. You will still be required to pay your taxes by April 15th, 2019.

TL;DR: You procrastinated having your taxes done. File an extension, then get help.

Spotlight: Rebecca “Becca” Williams

Rebecca Williams is a tax specialist at TL;DR: Accounting. She’s an important part of our team and we’re excited to introduce her to our clients! She is cracking jokes and keeping us entertained in our Slack channel.

Why did you decide to become an accountant?

I like order and I like solving puzzles. This way, I get to do both!

When were you hired for TL;DR?

January, 2019.

What made you decide to want to work for TL;DR?

I immediately fell in love with the culture.

What do you enjoy most about TL;DR?

I love the team and being able to work from anywhere.

What is a typical work day like for you?

Everyday is different! And really enjoy that.

What is your favorite tip for small business owners?

If you don’t know how to do something, find an expert that does. Doing something right the first time tends to be easier than cleaning up a mess later.

How do you stay informed about developments and changes in the accounting world?

I subscribe to a lot of lists and attend in-person classes and webinars.

What is your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional?

Keeping a small human alive for 3 years(to date).

What do you do outside of work?

I enjoy reading and getting out in nature with my family.

If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?

Batman. You get to be a billionaire and play with cool gadgets.

Bookkeeping: What Should I Be Keeping Track Of?

As a small business owner, should you be keeping records or copies of:

  • Receipts?
  • Bank statements?
  • Everything?
  • Nothing?

The answer is: all of the above. You should be keeping any receipts, copies of your bank and credit card statements, and any information that will be used to prepare your tax returns.

What is Bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping is the keeping of a business’s financial records. It involves keeping track of your income, expenses, receipts, and balances in all of your accounts.

When we advise clients to follow proper bookkeeping procedure, they often ask:

  • What is the easiest way to keep track of things?
  • Do I need to get Quickbooks?
  • I have a practice management software — that’s enough, right?


The type and size of your business dictates what specific bookkeeping and accounting system I recommend you put in place.

Before recommending a system, I typically ask questions such as:

  • How many transactions a month do you have?
  • Do you have a practice management system like SimplePractice?
  • Are you keeping your receipts?
  • Do you like DIY recordkeeping or do you hate manually recording transactions?

We recommend that you put a system in place to help you keep track of all of the above. It can be as simple as saving photos of receipts in a Drive folder and updating your Excel sheet each month. It can also be as automated as taking pictures of a receipt using an app that connects to QBO so it pulls a copy into your Quickbooks file before working through your income and expense items each month.

When you are just starting your practice, using a simple Excel sheet to record your transactions works well since you tend to have more time to do things related to data entry. I also always recommend keeping copies of your receipts for business expenses for up to three years after we file your tax return.

Boom — there is an accounting system for you.

You might be thinking, “well that sounds like more work then I want to do.”

If so, we do offer some alternatives:

1Tap – $45/year

This lets you take pictures of your receipts and then creates a spreadsheet for you. When you take the picture, the software asks what type of expense it is. This is super handy for those who don’t want to do a ton of data entry or go the Quickbooks route. We have a firm license for this software so we offer it to our clients at $45/year.

Quickbooks Online – Monthly fee $20-25/mo

We recommend Simple Start for small businesses. It connects with your bank account and pulls transaction info automatically. You will need to classify each expense, but then you will be able to pull reporting to track your business expenditures and goals.

The above includes only a few options that are easily available.

TL:DR: The default answer is yes you should keep a copy of that. Setting up a recordkeeping system is an important step for your business.