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October 15th tax filing deadline is fast approaching

For taxpayers who requested a 6-month extension to file their 2009 tax return, the October 15th deadline is fast approaching. October 15th is the last day to file your individual 2009 tax return unless you qualify under certain circumstance for additional extensions. Military personnel serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, or other combat zones or taxpayers who have been affected by recent natural disasters may qualify for additional extensions to file their returns. IRS publication 3 – Armed Forces’ Tax Guide outlines the extensions available for military personnel and their families (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p3.pdf). For those affect by recent natural disasters, the IRS provides a summary of the tax relief offered to those victims on their web site at http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=108362,00.html.

Keep in mind that unless otherwise stated, extensions for additional time to file your return, do not typically mean that you have additional time to pay your tax liability. Taxpayers are usually expected to pay their tax liability by the original due date of their return, which for most taxpayers is April 15. Failure to pay your taxes by the due date often results in additional penalties and interest charged.

If you do not qualify for any additional extensions and you miss the Oct. 15 deadline, you should make every effort to file your return as soon as possible to avoid late filing penalties. If know that you will not be able to file your return on time or if you experience financial or other hardships that make paying your taxes difficult, contact the IRS’s taxpayer assistance resources to work out a plan to minimize or avoid additional penalties and interest charges. A list of each state’s IRS taxpayer assistance centers are listed here http://www.irs.gov/localcontacts/index.html.

Taxpayers filing by Oct. 15 are encouraged by the IRS to e-file their returns to reduce the potential errors and expedite the filing process associated with filing paper returns. The e-file and Free File Programs are only available until Oct. 15.

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