Easing the Tax-Filing Crunch

An extension gives you more time to compile your tax records -- but you still have to pay what you owe.

Feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of filing your taxes? You’re not alone. But ignoring the problem and wishing it would go away is not the solution.

If you don’t think you can manage to file your 2009 tax return by the April 15, 2010, deadline, file for a six-month extension. It’s easy. Just fill out Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, estimate your tax bill, and pay what you can by April 15, 2010. That will delay the due date for your completed return until October 15, 2010.

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Mary Beth Franklin
Former Senior Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance