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IRS Urges Taxpayers To e-file Extension Requests by April 15 Filing Deadline

IR-2008-55, April 3, 2008

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today urged taxpayers who need additional time to complete their tax returns to submit their requests for an automatic extension electronically by April 15. E-filing a request for an extension is convenient, safe and secure, and taxpayers receive confirmation to keep with their records.

The extension gives taxpayers until Oct. 15 to file the tax return. An extension does not give the taxpayer an extension of time to pay. Those who owe taxes can make a payment when they file the extension either by mailing a check or by several electronic payment methods, such as electronic funds withdrawals from bank accounts and credit card payments.

Some taxpayers can wait until after April 15 to file a return, pay any taxes due and make IRA contributions for 2007. As a general rule, those eligible get the extra time without having to ask for it. Eligible taxpayers include:

  • Members of the military serving in Iraq, Afghanistan or other combat zone localities. Normally, the postponement is until 180 days after the service member leaves the combat zone.
  • Disaster-area taxpayers in four states affected by recent floods, storms and tornadoes. The postponement is until May 6 in parts of Illinois, May 19 in parts of Georgia and parts of Missouri and May 27 in parts of Arkansas.

IRS expects to receive 10.3 million extension requests during 2008 compared with 10 million extensions received during 2007. The IRS expects to receive almost 2 million extension requests electronically this year.

Taxpayers can get an automatic six-month extension of time to file their tax returns by filing Form 4868, Automatic Extension of Time to File.

It is also important for extension filers to remember that Oct, 15 is not only the due date for their tax returns, it is also the last date on which a return can be filed that will result in an economic stimulus payment. Taxpayers who file earlier, however, will get their economic stimulus payments sooner.

Taxpayers can e-file the extension from a home computer or through a tax professional who uses e-file. Taxpayers can e-file their extensions at no cost. Some companies offer free e-filing of extensions through FreeFile.

2008 FILING SEASON STATISTICS

Cumulative through the weeks ending 3/30/07 and 3/28/08

Individual Income Tax Returns

2007

2008

% Change

Total Receipts

80,800,000

86,817,000

7.4%

Total Processed

77,171,000

81,644,000

5.8%

 

 

E-filing Receipts:

 

 

 

TOTAL

56,994,000

62,237,000

9.2%

Tax Professionals

40,910,000

43,366,000

6.0%

Self-prepared

16,084,000

18,870,000

17.3%

 

 

 

 

Web Usage:

 

 

 

Visits to IRS.gov

102,190,000

121,714,000

19.1%

 

 

 

 

Total Refunds:

 

 

 

Number

68,274,000

69,823,000

2.3%

Amount

$163.432

Billion

$172.017

Billion

5.3%

Average refund

$2,394

$2,464

2.9%

 

 

 

 

Direct Deposit Refunds:

 

 

 

Number

47,339,000

50,788,000

7.3%

Amount

$130.331

Billion

$140.216

Billion

7.6%

Average refund

$2,753

$2,761

0.3%

 

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 17-Aug-2012