Aug. 15 tax deadline nears for extension filers

Aug. 15 tax deadline nears for extension filers


CHICAGO—Most taxpayers have already filed their tax year 2001 federal income tax returns. But for more than 8 million taxpayers (more than 220,000 in Illinois) who opted for the automatic extension of time to file, the deadline is August 15.

“Taxpayers with extensions must file their tax returns by August 15 to avoid the late filing penalty, which is 5 percent per month of the unpaid tax,” said IRS spokeswoman Sue Hales. “For those who can’t file by August 15, help may be available.”

Taxpayers with special circumstances, such as a hardship, that prevent them from preparing and filing their tax forms by August 15 may request an additional two-month extension that will give them until October 15 to file. These taxpayers will be granted an extension of time to file even if they cannot send in payment of outstanding 2001 taxes with the extension request.

“Taxpayers granted the additional time to file will not be penalized for late payment of tax if they pay the balance of their 2001 tax when they file the tax return by October 15, and if 90 percent of their total tax was paid by April 15,” Hales said.

To request the additional time to file, taxpayers must file From 2688 with the Internal Revenue Service by August 15. Form 2688 is available on the IRS web site at The IRS will advise extension filers in writing whether or not their requests are granted. Form 2688 can be filed electronically or mailed to the IRS.

Taxpayers may file their tax return elctronically until October 15. They can use tax preparation software on their own computers or file electronically through an authorized e-file provider. Both options offer taxpayers security and accuracy in filing their returns as well as faster refunds.

Last year, more than 2 million taxpayers requested this additional time to file, up almost 200,000 from the prior year.

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