If you haven’t filed your taxes, you’ve got another two and a half hours until the penalties kick in.
This week, the IRS reported that the average refund was up about 5 percent or $102. but you can’t get your refund until you’ve filed your return. It might be time to start thinking about filing for an extension.
Anyone who can’t file their return by midnight tonight can get an automatic four month extension. That gives you time to complete your return, but you still have to pay any taxes that would be due today or owe interest and penalties on top of the tax owed.
You can request an extension by going to the www.irs.gov, filling out IRS form 4868, writing out a check and getting into the mail tonight.
You can also file for an extension and pay your estimated tax by calling the IRS toll free number (888) 796-1074. Make sure you write down your confirmation number. If you’re using tax software, you can use it to file your extension through the internet.
If you’re a member of our armed forces and are serving abroad, or if you’re married to someone seeing abroad, you may have more time to file.
The military family tax relief act which was signed into law last November, created new deductions and tax benefits for military personnel and their families. For example, if you or your spouse is serving outside the USA or Puerto Rico, but aren’t in a combat zone, you have until June 15 to file your tax return. Write Military Service Outside the US on your envelope and on the return itself. If you’re serving in a combat zone, you can postpone filing your taxes until 180 days after your last day of combat service. The extension covers service members who are hospitalized outside the US for combat-related injuries. Write Combat Zone on your tax return.
There are several other benefits that are wrapped up in the Military Family Tax Relief Act.
E-FILE BY PHONE: THROUGH APRIL 15, 2004
FILE A PAPER FORM 4868
www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/4868.pdf (YOU’LL NEED ADOBE ACROBAT TO SEE THIS FILE)
Copyright 2004, WGN-TV