There are 17 business days before extensions are due and in this practice that is cause for great panic. Only 1 client who I filed an extension for has completed their return. I also have a couple of returns that don't have extensions that I still expect. 2 years ago the IRS switch from an automatic 4 month extension (with a chance at an additional 2 months) to an automatic 6 months. I am sure from their point of view it made sense but not from a preparer's view.
The problem is procrastination. The client's procrastination. Last year, this was not a big problem since most clients were still functioning on the 4 month time mode. But this year, they all know they have until October 15th and they are taking full use of the extra time to not get their records together. The frustration for me is we aren't talking about people who have complex returns or problems getting the info they need. Nor, is it a matter of spacing out and forgetting their obligation. They have all called in the last month to tell me they will be in to finish their return. They just haven't walked through the door.
I plan my life around April 15th. I know not to agree to outside commitments from January through mid-April. I work long hours and weekends. But the rest of the year is mine. Office hours are more than enough time to get tax, bookkeeping and business work done. I have time to act, direct, read and play. It is how I get through tax season. Thanks to the IRS changing extensions, October is developing into a mini-tax season with extensions, 3rd quarter bookkeeping and payroll reports. Time outside of office hours will be needed. It wouldn't be a problem but I want a life outside of taxes right now. This is the fun time of the year with shows, fairs, festivals. October should be fun not frustrating waiting for procrastinators to wander in with returns they could have brought in months ago.
I will get off my soapbox now.