taxes

Tax Deadlines Looming

Taxpayers who requested an extension for filing their 2009 return or those who want to undo a Roth conversion need to act fast.

Millions of taxpayers who requested an extension to file their 2009 federal income-tax returns have just a few more days to submit their forms. The deadline is October 15.

This date also is the deadline for taxpayers who converted to a Roth IRA in 2009 and want to switch their account back to a traditional IRA.

Form 1040 deadline

The IRS is encouraging taxpayers who filed a Form 4868 for a six-month extension to e-file their Form 1040 by October 15. Taxpayers who file electronically and use direct deposit will get their refunds faster. October 15 also is the last day taxpayers who earn $57,000 or less can take advantage of the IRS Free File program.

As you fill out your 1040, make sure you don't miss any deductions that could save you money. See The Most-Overlooked Tax Deductions and our Taxopedia for everything that's deductible, from A to Z.

If you owe taxes and can't pay the whole bill by October 15, pay as much as you can to reduce the penalties and interest that will continue to accrue until the balance is paid in full. If you don't pay, the IRS may impose a levy on your wages or bank accounts, or place a federal tax lien against your property.

Roth recharacterization deadline

If you converted a traditional IRA to a Roth in 2009, you can switch back to a traditional IRA by October 15 and file an amended return to reclaim the taxes you paid on the conversion. This move makes sense if your account lost value after a conversion. If you wait 30 days after undoing the conversion (called recharacterizing), you can switch back to a Roth and pay taxes on the smaller balance. See Act Soon to Undo a Roth Conversion for more information.

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