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Tax extension fairly simple

April 15, 2002|By JENNIFER RALTON-SMITH

Staff Writer

Tax return not finished yet? The time to procrastinate is definitely over, but the good news is you can apply for an extension and it's a relatively easy process.

You will need to file Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

You can find this form on-line at the easy-to-navigate IRS Web site at www.irs.ustreas.gov or you can pick one up at the local IRS office in El Centro at 2345 N 2nd St. Local libraries have copies, too.

l When you get your hands on a copy of the extension form, you have choices as to how you want to file:

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l File via phone at (800) 829-1040

l E-file using your home computer or ask your tax professional to e-file on your behalf.

l Put a stamp on it and drop it in the mail.

Here's a list of helpful phone numbers:

l 24-hour recorded tax help — (800) 829-4477

l Need A tax form? — (800) 829-3676

l TTY tax telephone service — (800) 829-4059

l Local taxpayer advocate — (949) 389-4804

l Checking on a refund —(800) 829-4477

Believe it or not, there's even a toll-free number where you can put your questions to a "live" person. It's (800) 829-1040 and operates 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

The IRS wants to remind you that however you decide to file your extension, be sure to do it by the regular due date of your return. Pay any tax you expect to owe by then or you'll end up paying interest, too.

Some special rules apply if you are living outside the United States or serving in a combat zone or a qualified hazardous-duty area.

>>Staff Writer Jennifer Ralton-Smith can be reached at 337-3442 or dingo87@earthlink.net

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