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Saturday April 18, 2015

Washington News

Washington Hotline

Still Time to Extend Until October 15

As the April 15 tax-filing deadline approaches, the IRS published IR-2015-68 to remind taxpayers that it is easy to extend the filing deadline to October 15.

There is a Free File link on www.irs.gov. With this link you may request an electronic Form 4868. If you file this form, the IRS permits you to file your tax return on or before October 15, 2015.

Another option is to obtain a hard copy Form 4868 from the IRS website. You may also request an extension by mailing in the printed form. In both cases, taxpayers are required to pay the proper amount of tax. The extension applies only to filing the return and not to the payment of tax.

If you owe taxes, there are several convenient ways to pay.

1. Direct Pay – On irs.gov/directpay, you may make transfers directly from your checking or savings account. There is no fee or pre-registration required.

2. Electronic Federal Tax Payment System – This is a free system that requires pre-registration. You can obtain information on EFTPS.gov or call 800-316-6541.

3. Electronic Fund Withdrawals – Your bank or other financial institution may offer an electronic payment option. You may use this to pay your taxes.

4. Credit or Debit Card – It is permissible to pay your taxes with an authorized credit or debit card. The IRS does not charge a fee for that payment, but your credit or debit card issuer may assess their normal fee.

There are limited exceptions for specific categories with respect to filing. Civilians and military personnel who live abroad must pay tax by April 15, but may delay filing their return until June 15.

However, military members in combat zones such as Afghanistan or other areas may delay both filing and payment of taxes until 180 days after they return from their combat assignment.

If you need more time to pay, it is possible to use the Online Payment Agreement on irs.gov. If you owe the IRS $50,000 or less, you may schedule a monthly payment. The payment agreement can have a maximum duration of 72 months.

Taxpayers who are in economic difficulty may also qualify for the Offer in Compromise Program. An IRS agent may review your financial circumstance and set up a scheduled payment plan that covers less than your total taxes owed. The irs.gov site includes an Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier Program. This may be helpful to you if you think you could qualify for a reduced tax payment plan.

Published April 10, 2015

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