Deadline Fast Approaching for Tax Extensions

IRS Extends Deadline for Those in Natural Disaster Areas

If you requested an extension to file your tax returns, your time is about to run out.

The Oct. 17 deadline for income tax return extensions is fast approaching for the 11 million taxpayers nationwide who requested one. About 10.1 million still hadn’t filed five days before the deadline, according to the IRS.

If you were recently affected by the wildfires in Texas, Hurricane Irene in the Northeast or by Tropical Storm Lee along the Gulf Coast, you’ll have a little more time. The IRS is granting two extra weeks – with a special Oct. 31 deadline – for those who live or have businesses in areas affected by those natural disasters. In all, taxpayers in parts of nine states and Puerto Rico are eligible.

The IRS is also granting extra time to members of the military and others serving in combat zones, including Iraq and Afghanistan. The IRS typically gives them 180 days after they leave the combat zone to file their returns.

If you’re in the rush to meet the deadline, don’t forget about the tax benefits created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Thanks to the healthcare reform law, small businesses that employ less than 25 workers with an average income of $50,000 or less have until the October 17 deadline to calculate the small employer health credit and claim it as a general business credit. The credit is good for small businesses, including sole proprietorships and farmers, and can knock off a part of a business’s healthcare costs.

Taxpayers may automatically be granted an extension every April, but nice IRS gestures come in short supply for those with back tax debt. If you have back tax debt, hiring a tax attorney can help you obtain an extension for paying your balance or help get your penalties and interest abated.

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