There may be times throughout every tax season where you feel as if you are drifting in space waiting on information from your clients. Whatever the reason may be as why a return can’t be completed, you can, of course, file an extension.
Extensions give you an extra six months to gather any necessary information and file your clients’ final returns before the October deadline. Yet, how do you efficiently manage your clients’ extensions to avoid getting behind or any mishaps?
Make your software work for you. Here’s are the steps to generate extension reports in Intuit® ProConnect™ Lacerte®.
First, make sure that the return is marked accordingly for an extension. Once you have Lacerte open, simply access your client’s “Detail” tab and navigate to the extension screen under the “Payments and Penalties” section.
For each module, this screen may be under a different number:
- Individual: Screen 9
- Partnership: Screen 6
- Corporate/S-Corp: Screen 12
- Fiduciary: Screen 14
- Exempt Org: Screen 15
Once you are on the right screen, all you have to do is complete the one mandatory field.
By entering “1” into this mandatory field, the extension will generate under the “forms” tab.
This will be the same for all modules except for the Partnership module. Here, the input is very similar, but you will have to complete the mandatory field specific for the situation. With this input completed, and the return marked for e-filing on the “Client Information” screen (Screen 1), you will be ready to e-file the extension. Navigate to the e-file menu at the top, just as you would for a regular e-filing, and choose “Start the Extension Wizard.” This will work in the exact same way as the regular wizard. Simply follow the prompts on the wizard.
It is important to note that Lacerte will not let you file the extension if certain diagnostics are showing, but some may remain even when you can file the extension. We recommend checking your diagnostic tab prior to any e-filing.
By completing the wizard and sending off the extension, you may think you’re done until the October deadline, but not necessarily. Once you have put the return on extension, there are a few steps you can do to keep track of the return and make sure that come October, you are ready to file your extension clients and no one will be left floating in space.
One of these steps is setting up a report to make sure you have details of everyone you have put on extension.
Access the reports by navigating to your “Print Menu” at the top of the screen. This will give you the option of Database Reports, but be aware that you will need to have the client(s) selected prior to doing this. When you select this option, a new window will pop up and you will be given a whole lot of information to choose between. But, fear not! You want to look at “e-file Acc Letter,” “Status” and “Custom.” Each of these reports can be used to keep track of the clients you have filed for extension.
- By selecting the “e-file Acc Letter” tab, you are able to confirm and print any acceptance letters that were received for the extensions, giving you a conclusive list of any clients that have been extended.
- When you select the “Status” tab, you are able to show any of your clients that have been marked with a status of on extension. Simply uncheck all other status options and then select the “Preview” button in the bottom right corner; you will see any clients in this status.
- By selecting the “Custom” tab, you can create a new report that pulls any information you desire. Work through the expandable menus in the left column, find the required fields for your report, and select and move them to the right column. Anything in the right column will be used to produce a report on the selected clients.
What if you wanted to see all of the clients grouped together rather than on a report? From your client list – the initial screen that loads in Lacerte – you will find a column on the left-hand side of the screen. Within this column will be a few different options on how you can filter your client list. Two of these options are “Client Status” and “Federal Extension e-file Status.”
If either of these expandable fields are selected, you will be given the applicable options for each one. Selecting one of these options will then filter your entire client list to match only that specific option.
By using these two options after filing your extensions, you should no longer have to find the time to keep up with the details; instead, you can focus on building your business!
Editor’s note: Want more tips and tricks for Lacerte? Check out the Lacerte Video Resource Center.