For the true procrastinators among us, Tuesday's tax deadline means one thing — it's time to start working on that six-month extension to file.
About 119,000 Oklahoma taxpayers are expected to file Form 4868 with the Internal Revenue Service, which grants an automatic, six-month tax-filing extension, said David Stell, IRS spokesman in Oklahoma City.
While filing Form 4868 provides an extension of time to file and relief from a late-filing penalty, it is not an extension of time to pay, Stell said.
“If you expect to have a balance due when you eventually file your tax return, you may want to make a payment with the Form 4868 to cut down a late-payment penalty and interest that will still apply,” Stell said. “But a Form 4868 filing is still valid, even if filed without a
For some workers who've experienced unemployment and who will have a balance due when they file their tax returns after April 17, the normal late-payment penalty of one-half percent per month can be forgiven, Stell said.
The IRS's “Fresh Start” program was expanded this year to help people who have been unemployed during 2011 or 2012 for 30 consecutive days or more.
Similar relief also is available to self-employed people who experienced a 25 percent or greater reduction in business income in 2011 due to the economy.
For taxpayers who need additional time to prepare and file an Oklahoma return, the Oklahoma Tax Commission extension is Form 504. If a refund is expected from the Oklahoma return, and the taxpayer already has a valid Federal extension, the state Tax Commission will automatically honor the federal extension.
If a taxpayer owes money, then 90 percent of the Oklahoma liability will need to be paid by Tuesday or an underpayment penalty could be levied, Tax Commission Spokeswoman Paula Ross said.
Ross said Friday that more than 1.2 million state tax returns had been filed, with 77 percent of those filed electronically. That's four percent more online filings than the previous year, Ross said.
“Overall we have had a successful season,” Ross said. “We launched a new debit-card program, allowing taxpayers to choose the option of receiving their refunds either by opting to have their refund directly deposited into their bank account, or by a debit card.”
About one in four filers has elected to receive a debit card. Overall the state refund average has been $367.18.
For more information, go to the federal website at irs.gov or the state Tax Commission site at www.tax.ok.gov.
Taxpayers will have until Tuesday to file their 2011 tax returns and pay any tax due because April 15 falls on a Sunday, and Emancipation Day, a holiday observed in the District of Columbia, falls this year on Monday. According to federal law, District of Columbia holidays impact tax deadlines in the same way that federal holidays do; therefore, all taxpayers will have two extra days to file this year.