Tax-extension deadline fast approaching

An estimated 295,000 New Jerseyans who requested the automatic six-month extension to file their 2008 tax return face the upcoming Thursday, Oct. 15, deadline. Nationwide, an estimated 10.5 million taxpayers filed for an extension to submit their 2008 tax return this year, according to the IRS.

The extension is additional time to file a tax return, not additional time to pay. Taxpayers requesting additional time during the tax-filing season automatically were granted a six-month extension to file their tax return.

Taxpayers who have yet to complete their tax return are encouraged to use IRS e-file to submit their return electronically or use IRS Free File to electronically prepare and send their return, New Jersey’s IRS spokesman Gregg Semanick said. Both IRS e-file and Free File will remain available for individual taxpayers through the extension period. In New Jersey, over 2.7 million of the total 4.4 million filers have e-filed their tax returns. Nationwide, over 93 million taxpayers filed electronically.

“Don’t wait until the last minute to file your tax return. If you start now, you can make sure your tax return is accurate and that you’ve claimed all the credits and deductions available to you,” Semanick said. “The easiest way to ensure an accurate tax return is to prepare and file your return electronically. IRS e-file is fast, easy and secure.”

Free File is the private-public partnership between the IRS and a consortium of tax preparation software manufacturers who formed the Free File Alliance. The group makes software and electronic filing available free to eligible taxpayers. Any taxpayer whose income is $56,000 or less, which is over 60 percent of all New Jersey filers, will find an available software program. Free File is only available at the Web site. Taxpayers who have purchased their own software program or who are using a paid tax preparer are urged to file their tax return electronically. To learn more about e-filing and to take advantage of its benefits, taxpayers should contact their tax professional or visit and click on the e-file logo on the IRS home page.