Millions Expected to File for a Tax Extension in 2005

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Automatic four-month tax extensions are available online - nearly nine million are expected to file.

Nearly nine million tax filers are expected to file for tax extensions this year, according to the IRS, and this group will find it easy to extend their filing deadline—they will not need an explanation, or any paper forms. Automatic four-month tax extensions are available online. Filing for a tax extension online allows taxpayers to request an automatic four-month tax extension minutes before their extension request is due, or the normal filing deadline of April 15th. Taxpayers who file for tax extensions online also get an acknowledgment that the IRS has received their request.

Taxpayers requesting an online extension may choose to pay an estimate of the taxes they owe, and they can make this payment electronically. Filing an online tax extension allows taxpayers to use a credit card to make their extension-related tax payment, or to pay any expected tax balance by authorizing an automatic withdrawal from a checking or savings account.

Taxpayers should be aware that a tax extension is only an extension of time to file taxes and does not give tax filers more time to pay any taxes they owe. Taxpayers will owe interest and possibly a late payment penalty of 0.5% per month on any income taxes not paid by the regular filing date of April 15th. However, even without a payment, a tax filer can still get a four-month extension of time to file to avoid a failure to file penalty.

Taxpayers who e-file their online tax extension may do so until midnight on April 15th from the comfort of their own home on their own computer. One noteworthy resource for online tax extension services is TaxExtensions.com, a site that has consistently provided leading extension products and services for the past seven tax seasons. At TaxExtensions.com, taxpayers can conveniently file online for a tax extension and get an acknowledgement that the IRS has received their request.

Taxpayers who live outside the United States and Puerto Rico, and whose main place of work is outside the United States, may automatically get a two-month tax extension from the regular due date of April 15th, 2005, or until June 15th, to file their income tax returns and pay federal tax due. This June deadline also applies to those in military or naval service on duty outside the country; however, special circumstances surround those qualifying. Taxpayers interested in learning more about this topic should visit the online resource page, irs.com/tax-extensions/out-of-country.htm, to learn more about qualifying for tax extensions when out of the country. Taxpayers with the June 15th deadline can file Form 4868 by June 15th to get an additional two months to file.

The record-breaking number of taxpayers expected to file for online tax extensions this year parallels the growing trend of overall online tax filing. According to the IRS, the group of taxpayers who used a home computer to self-prepare their tax returns was up by nearly 15 percent by early April this year. Similarly, more tax extensions are expected to be filed online this year.

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Jackie Bates
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