IRS News Release  
April 05, 1989

Deadline Approaching to File for An Extension

With less than two full weeks left in the 1989 tax filing season, many taxpayers who have not filed yet may be thinking about getting an extension of time to file their returns. This year the Internal Revenue Service expects to receive over six million requests for extension of time to file returns, up nine percent over the 5.7 million received last year.

To receive an extension, taxpayers must file Form 4868, "Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return," by April 17, 1989, and include the expected amount of tax due along with Form 4868. These taxpayers then have an extra four months, until August 15, to file their return. The extension is automatic, and taxpayers do not have to give a reason for asking for the extension.

The extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay the tax due, and it is available only for filers of Form 1040 or 1040A. If you don't pay the amount of tax due when you file Form 4868, you will owe interest and may also be charged penalties.

The IRS noted that the special two-month automatic extension of time to file which applied last year for taxpayers traveling outside the United States or Puerto Rico during the two-week period that included April 15 does not apply for 1988 returns. Instead, the two-month extension is available only for taxpayers who both live and have their main place of business outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico, or for taxpayers in military or naval service outside the U.S. or Puerto Rico.

Form 4868 is available at most IRS offices and from IRS forms distribution sites by calling toll-free 1-800-424-3676.

So far this filing season receipts of returns are just about even with last year; over 58,128,000 returns were received by March 31, up slightly from the 58,046,000 at the same point last filing season. Processing, however, continues at a faster pace. The IRS processed 48,050,000 returns this year by March 31, compared to 47,024,000 last year, a 2.2 percent increase.

Refunds are also up over last year. As of March 31 the IRS certified over 37 million refunds, compared to 36 million last year at this time. The average refund so far is $819.28, compared to $824.74 last year.

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