There is less than a month until the final extended deadline for 2011 S corporation and LLC tax returns, and it is crucial you file on time to avoid late filing penalties. If you have not sent in your 2011 data to your CPA or tax preparer, you might want to work on it this weekend instead of enjoying the summer weather (or lack thereof if you are in Portland this morning).
I have written numerous posts about the S corporation late filing penalty that can only be abated if you have no prior late filing history, and the partnership penalty that the IRS has recently been making more difficult to abate. If you have never read up on this topic or had to deal with this issue, please take a few minutes and click on the links above to read about the penalties, as they can amount to thousands of dollars in unnecessary, non-deductible costs for your business.
Even though there are automatic abatement procedures in place for entities taxed as partnerships, you should not assume that if it has worked for you in prior years that it will work in the future. Last year, the IRS made changes to their internal procedures with regard to how they dealt with late filed partnership returns, and I had many abatements challenged or denied that had been approved in prior years. You can read about some specific problems on my TaxQueries.com post, but I believe the IRS will continue making it more and more difficult for partnership filers that continue to file late each year.
Make finishing your 2011 accounting work a priority this weekend! Not only will your tax preparer appreciate it, but not having potential penalties hanging over you is even better.