Calendar Year C Corporations to Be Granted Six Month, Rather Than Five Month, Extensions When Fling Form 7004

The IRS clarified on its website (6-Month Extension Period for Calendar Year C Corporations) that the agency has exercised its authority under IRC §6081(a) and will grant calendar year C corporations that timely file a Form 7004 a six-month extension of time to file their calendar year tax return.  Thus, the extended due date for such corporations will move to October 15 instead of the originally scheduled September 15 due date.  The revised due dates are reflected in revised instructions for Form 7004 that the IRS has posted.

The Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 had modified the due dates and extended due dates for various entities, effective for tax years beginning in 2016.  For C corporations the original due of such returns were generally pushed back one month, which would also serve to push back the extended due date by one month.

However, since the federal government’s fiscal year ends in September, Congress enacted special rules to apply for ten years to keep September regular and extended due dates for certain C corporations from moving to October.  Per the law, the original due dates for June 30 fiscal year C corporations will remain at September 15 for tax years beginning before January 1, 2026. 

As well, the extended due date for calendar year C corporations was scheduled to remain at September 15 by limiting the extension to five months for such corporations for tax years beginning before January 1, 2026. [IRC §6081(b)] 

The IRS action negates that provision by granting a six month extension for those calendar year C corporations.  The IRS relies on the broad grant of authority given to it under IRC §6081(a) which provides:

(a) General rule

The Secretary may grant a reasonable extension of time for filing any return, declaration, statement, or other document required by this title or by regulations. Except in the case of taxpayers who are abroad, no such extension shall be for more than 6 months.

The IRS ruling does not affect the other extended due date modification found in IRC §6081(a).  June 30 fiscal year C corporations will be granted seven month extensions of time to file their returns if they timely file Form 7004 to September 15.