March 25, 1992
Extensions Available for Those
Who Can't Make the Deadline
WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service has already received
half of the 114 million tax returns it expects this year. With April
15th just three weeks away, some of the remaining taxpayers may be
thinking about getting more time to file. The IRS anticipates
receiving five million extension requests, as it has the last two
To obtain the extra time, people must file Form 4868,
"Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual
Income Tax Return," by midnight, April 15, and include any expected
balance due. This gives them until August 15 to file the return. No
reason must be given for the extension.
The IRS cautioned that this filing extension does not give extra
time to pay the tax due. Taxpayers must make a reasonable estimate
of their total tax liability and pay any balance due, or the
automatic extension will not be granted.
Interest is charged on any additional tax owed when the return
is finally filed. In April, that interest rate drops to eight
percent per year, compounded daily. There is also a late payment
penalty of one-half percent per month if less than 90 percent of the
total tax is paid by the deadline. The penalty for filing late
without an extension is 5 percent per month of the balance due. For
returns over 60 days late, the minimum penalty is $100 or the full
balance due, whichever is less.
Form 4868 is available at most IRS offices and by calling --
toll-free -- 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).
The IRS had intended to replace Form 4868 this year with
paperless automatic extension rule, known as APEX (Automated
Processing of EXtensions). However, in response to concerns raised
by various tax professionals, IRS said last August that it was
reconsidering APEX. No decision has yet been made on the APEX
As of March 20, the IRS had received 57 million tax returns and
sent 36 million refunds, worth $35.6 billion. At $980, the average
refund is up 9.5 percent from this time last year.
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