Tax deadline looming, but six-month extensions are available

Oklahoma taxpayers who need more time to file their state or federal returns can obtain automatic extensions by filing the proper form.
by Don Mecoy Published: April 15, 2012
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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 payment.”

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.

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by Don Mecoy
Business Editor
Business Editor Don Mecoy has covered business news for more than a decade after earlier working on The Oklahoman's city, state and metro news desks, including a stint as city editor. He has won state and regional journalism awards for business,...
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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.

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