Washington (Aug. 6, 2002) -- For the more than 8 million taxpayers who opted for the automatic extension of time to file, the deadline is August 15.

The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers with extensions to file their returns by August 15 to avoid the late filing penalty, which is 5 percent per month of the unpaid tax. 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 that will give them until October 15 to file.

Taxpayers granted the additional time to file will not be penalized for late payment of tax if they pay the balance of their 2001 tax when they file the tax return by October 15 and if 90 percent of their total tax was paid by April 15.

To request the additional time to file, taxpayers must file Form 2688 with the IRS by August 15. The IRS will advise filers in writing whether or not their requests are granted. Form 2688 can be filed electronically or mailed to the IRS. Last year more than 2.5 million taxpayers requested additional time to file, up almost 200,000 from the prior year.

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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