March 24, 1994
Deadline Nears - Extensions,
Installment Plans Available
WASHINGTON - With just a little over three weeks left
until the April 15 filing deadline, the Internal Revenue Service advises people who
haven't done their tax forms to wait no longer, because time is running out to get the
forms, publications or other help they need.
The IRS has a special toll-free line for federal tax forms or
publications--1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676). Many banks, post offices and libraries
stock some of the common forms. The IRS also gives libraries reference sets of forms and
publications that can be photocopied.
If you can't finish your tax form on time, you can get an extra four months--until Aug.
15--to file your return by sending Form 4868 to the IRS by Apr. 15. This filing extension
does not give you more time to pay any taxes owed. You must estimate your total tax
liability when requesting the extension. You may pay any projected balance due with the
Form 4868, but if you can't pay the full amount, you can still get the extension. You may
also be liable for a late payment penalty if the amount paid by Apr. 15 is less than 90
percent of your actual 1993 tax.
If you've completed your tax forms, but you can't pay the full amount owed, you can ask
the IRS for an installment plan when you file. Send as large a payment as possible with
your return, to lessen interest and penalty charges, which currently total an annual rate
of 13 percent--seven percent annual interest, plus a late payment penalty of 0.5 percent
per month. To request an installment arrangement with the IRS, just attach Form 9465 to
the front of your tax return, listing the amount you propose to pay each month and on
which day. The IRS should let you know within 30 days if your proposal is acceptable.
If you did not have enough tax withheld last year, you should also act now to avoid
this problem next year. Get a 1994 Form W-4 from your employer or from the IRS and use it
to find the proper number of withholding allowances for your situation.
As of March 18, the IRS had received over 52 million returns, almost closing the early
filing gap that emerges from January's severe winter weather. The IRS expects that, as
usual, it will get over half of this year's tax returns by April 1. The IRS has issued
nearly $34.5 billion in refunds so far. At $1,049, the average refund is up 6.2 percent
from last year.
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