IRS News Release  
April 05, 1990

To Receive an Extension,
a Form 4868 Must be Filed

WASHINGTON - There are less than two weeks left before the 1990 tax filing season ends on April 16, and many taxpayers who have not yet filed may be thinking about getting an extension of time to file their returns. This year the Internal Revenue Service expects about six million taxpayers to request an automatic extension of time to file their 1989 income tax returns.

To receive the extension, taxpayers must file Form 4868, "Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return," by April 16 and include the expected amount of tax due along with Form 4868. This gives taxpayers an extra four months, until August 15, to file the return. The extension is automatic, and taxpayers don't have to give a reason for asking for the extension.

The IRS cautioned, however, that an extension of time to file a return is not an extension of time to pay the tax due, and taxpayers must include the expected amount of their tax due when they file the extension.

The IRS also said that taxpayers should make sure the amount they include with Form 4868 is enough to cover the current year's tax liability. If the amount of tax included with the extension request is less than this, taxpayers will be charged interest on the overdue amount and may be charged penalties for failing to pay tax and failing to file a timely tax return.

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

The IRS also said today that returns are continuing to come into the service centers at a faster pace than last year. The IRS received over 60 million returns by March 30, up 3.5 percent from the 58 million filed at the same point last year. The IRS is also continuing to process returns at a faster pace. Over 51.5 million returns were processed through March 30, up over 7 percent from the 48 million processed last year at this point.

Refunds are up over last year as well. As of March 29, the IRS certified 40.5 million refunds, compared to 37 million last year. The average refund so far is $849, compared to $819 last year.

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