Washington (Aug. 1, 2003) -- The Internal Revenue Service says that more than 8.5 million taxpayers are facing an August 15 filing deadline.

The taxpayers, who requested an extension by filing Form 4868 by April 15, must file their returns by August 15 to avoid the late filing penalty, which is 5 percent per month of the unpaid tax. Help may be available, however, for people who cannot file by August 15.

Taxpayers with special circumstances, such as a hardship, that prevent them from preparing and filing their tax forms by August 15 may request an additional two-month extension by completing Form 2688 that will give them until October 15 to file their income tax returns. These taxpayers will be granted an extension of time to file even if they cannot send in payment of outstanding 2002 taxes with the extension request.

Taxpayers granted the additional time to file will not be penalized for late payment of tax if they pay the balance of their 2002 tax when they file the tax return by October 15, provided 90 percent of their total tax was paid by April 15.

-- WebCPA staff

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