The March 15 deadline for filing a 2003 corporation tax return is approaching quickly. (See tax calendar, page 5.) Rather than slapping together your tax paperwork at the last minute, punt. You can earn a six-month extension by filing Form 7004, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File Corporate Income Tax Return, and paying what you estimate you owe.
But even if you could easily wrap up your corporate return in time, your business could still benefit by filing an extension. Two reasons:
• Filing an extension postpones the deadline for making your corporation's 2003 deductible retirement plan contributions, so it gives you time to raise the cash. You have until the extended deadline for the return.
• Also, once the March/April tax frenzy is over, your tax adviser will have more time to help find tax-saving nuggets among your records.