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Electronic extensions to file individual income tax returns.

Most tax preparers are aware of the availability of electronic filing for individual income tax returns. Not as well known, however, is that preparers may also electronically file Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

A preparer enrolled with the IRS as an electronic return originator may electronically file Form 4868. The procedure is described in Publication 1345, Handbook for Electronic Filers of Individual Income Tax Returns.

The extension request should be completed in accordance with the form's instructions and then electronically transmitted to the service center where the return will be filed. The center will acknowledge receipt of the extension within a very short time. The procedure eliminates the problems with a paper extension that is not acknowledged.

If a payment is due with an extension request made electronically, the taxpayer is required to submit a check to the lockbox address listed on the reverse side of Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher. The check should contain the taxpayer's name, Social Security number, tax period and a description as relating to Form 4868. The extension form, however, is not sent with the payment.

An electronically extended return may be filed in paper form, if desired. It is not necessary to electronically file the return merely because it was electronically extended.

If a second extension request is necessary by Aug. 16 1999, Form 2688 must be physically filed. The Service currently does not have a procedure to electronically file this form. However, by next year an electronic second extension request will probably be in place.

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Author:Brown, Rubin
Publication:The Tax Adviser
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 1999
Previous Article:Internet-based commercial tax research tools.
Next Article:Lack of Records as Reasonable Cause for Late Filing.

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