Monday, April 13, 2009

Tax tip: E-file your request for an extension

WASHINGTON (4/13/09)--If you need more time to complete your tax return, send your extension request electronically by April 15, which will give you until Oct. 15 to file the return, says the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (April 7).

This year, there are no income restrictions for filing your taxes electronically at no cost from your home computer. Use FreeFile or FreeFile Fillable Forms accessible on the IRS website. And both options allow you to e-file a safe, secure and convenient request for an extension to file.

Don't confuse an extension to file with an extension to pay any taxes due. If you owe money to Uncle Sam, you must pay the IRS by the April 15 deadline or you'll be charged penalties and interest.

The IRS estimates that almost 10 million filers will request an extension this year, and 1.9 million of those will be filed electronically. As of April 3, the average refund totaled $2,705, up from $2,436 for the same time period in tax year 2008.

To file an extension, use IRS form 4868, Automatic Extension of Time to File.

For more information, read "Tax Tips for Tough Economic Times" in Home & Family Finance Resource Center.

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