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Procrastinate Much? Oct. 15 Federal Tax Extension Deadline Looms

The tax man cometh for real this time. Do you need help?

A second tax deadline for millions of taxpayers, including about 1.6 million in California and more than 140,000 in San Diego County, is quickly approaching. Monday, Oct. 15, represents the final day to file 2011 taxes for those who took the automatic six-month extension of time to file on or before April 15, 2012.

And although Monday is the last day for most of us, some still have more time, including members of the military and others serving in Iraq, Afghanistan or other combat zone localities who typically have until at least 180 days after they leave the combat zone to both file returns and pay any taxes due. (Much more on tax laws and deadlines for armed forces personnel and their families can be found here.)

So if you are one who is down to the wire in getting your 2011 taxes done on or before Oct. 15, here are four quick things to keep in mind to make it easier on you ... just as if you were facing the April 15 deadline:

  • You can still e-file and use IRS Free-File to file your return. E-file has long been the preferred method as it is convenient, easy, offers a quicker refund and on and on. Free-file will allow you file a federal income tax return for free (using software) providing that your income (Adjusted Gross Income) is $57,000 or less. Also, choosing direct deposit for your refund will help you get it much quicker over a paper check. If you owe, then click here for much more on payment options. Keep in mind that penalties and interest can add up as this is your final deadline for the year, so do file and pay what you can—if you owe and cannot fully pay—then let the IRS know that you cannot fully pay. We will work with you on it.
  • Don’t overlook any deduction or credit that you are eligible for. Your tax software will alert you to all that is available based on your situation but the IRS website also has more on the myriad of tax credits and deductions here.
  • Consider the Fresh Start program from the IRS. In fact, from our news release on the subject, "In many cases, those struggling to pay taxes qualify for one of several relief programs, including those expanded earlier this year under the IRS "Fresh Start" initiative."
  •  Finally, get all the tax information you need, questions answered, forms downloaded—everything related to federal taxes 24/7 at the IRS website.

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