With the slightly later Tax Day now past, the Internal Revenue Service is still accepting extension requests, for a six-month reprieve, through E-file.

"If you haven't finished your return, don't panic," said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson, in a statement last week. "Just file an extension, either by E-file or by mail."

The agency said that it expects to receive 9.6 million extension requests during 2006, compared to the 9.4 million extensions filed with the IRS in 2005. By filing Form 4868, "Automatic Extension of Time to File," taxpayers will have until October 16 to file their tax return.

In previous years, only a four-month extension was automatic, and taxpayers who needed more time had to make a second request.

All taxpayers, regardless of income level, can e-file their extensions requests at no cost. People who expect to owe taxes are still required to make an estimated payment when they file the extension.

Information on e-filing an extension request is available at www.irs.gov/efile/article/0,,id=118986,00.html . An electronic copy of Form 4868, to download, print and mail in to the agency, is available at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4868.pdf?portlet=3 .

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