Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Extensioin Form Alleviates Federal Income Tax Syndrome

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Extensioin Form Alleviates Federal Income Tax Syndrome

Article excerpt

Do you suffer every spring from Federal Income Tax Syndrome? Perhaps your condition can be alleviated with a simple remedy.

No, you don't need some miracle drug to forestall the "FITS" of stress and panic that flare up as you try to meet the deadline (April 16 this year) for filing your tax return. You don't even need a note from your doctor or any other excuse.

All that is required is Internal Revenue Service Form 4868, otherwise known as ``application for automatic extension of time to file U.S. individual income tax return.''

Just follow the Form 4868 instructions in a complete and timely manner, and you can reasonably expect a four-month reprieve, until mid-August, on the date of reckoning for squaring your books with Uncle Sam. No questions asked.

But be advised that the government, as flexible as it may be about extending the deadline for filing, shows no such lenience when it comes to getting paid whatever money it is due.

Taxpayers who feel inclined to take a filing extension on their own without submitting a 4868 should realize that the tax authorities will not be amused.

``What if you do not file, do not ask, and do not pay?'' posits the accounting firm of Price Waterhouse in its annual Personal Tax Advisor.

``The IRS becomes very upset - so upset that it will impose a late filing penalty of 5 percent per month (or portion thereof) of any tax due,'' up to a ceiling of 25 percent.

``So even if you cannot pay your taxes when they are due, do not let that stop you from filing your return or seeking a filing extension.''

With Form 4868, it turns out, you are required to estimate how much tax you will ultimately owe, and to enclose payment for any balance due. …

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