With the deadline for filing the federal and most state’s income tax returns less than two weeks away, if you have not filed yet, filing for an extension of time may be prudent. If you do end up not being able to meet the April 18th deadline, filing the extension will prevent failure-to-file penalties from accruing. These penalties could total up to 25% of the balance due. Filing the extension now can take off the stress of racing to the deadline. Removing that stress may in fact allow you to wrap up the return with ease.

Even if you have all of your numbers in order, there are other reasons to file the extension. All charitable contributions above $250 are only deductible if the donor has a written receipt from the organization. The court cases are clear, in that the receipt must be in the taxpayer’s hands before filing the return. Filing the extension gives you time to ensure that you have all of your receipts.

If you are about to move, you would not want your refund check to be mailed to your old address, and hope that it gets forwarded to you. Extending may be a god idea.

If you are self-employed and have a SEP-IRA you can contribute to it for the 2016 tax year as long as you have not timely filed your 2016 1040 yet.

Remember, that filing the extension only gives you an extension of time to file, not an extension to pay. If you think that you will owe taxes, you will want to consider making a payment with the filing. And, although Maryland and most states do not require their own extension filing, they do require their own payment by the 18th to be in compliance.

Moshe Pelberg is a CPA in private practice in Northwest Baltimore.