The time is nigh, saith the IRS, for millions of taxpayers who have filed for extensions to send in their 2008 returns by Oct. 15.

The same warning applies to tax practitioners who filed extensions on behalf of their clients. It’s also the deadline for special voluntary disclosures by taxpayers with assets in previously undisclosed offshore financial accounts. The IRS recently extended the voluntary disclosure deadline, but warned it would be the final time (see IRS Extends Offshore Account Disclosure Deadline for the Last Time).

In most cases, Oct. 15, 2009, is the last day that taxpayers can timely file their 2008 federal tax returns. Oct. 15 is also the last day they can take advantage of the Free File program.

The IRS expects to receive as many as 10 million tax returns from taxpayers who used Form 4868 to request a six-month extension to file their returns. Some taxpayers may have requested a filing extension in order to claim the first-time homebuyer credit for a home purchase that closed after the April 15 deadline.

However, some taxpayers are allowed to wait until after Oct. 15 to file, including those serving in Iraq, Afghanistan or other combat zone localities, and people affected by recent natural disasters.

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