IRS News Release  
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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