WASHINGTON (AP) — The time is here for deadline filers: 2011 federal income tax returns are due Tuesday.
Those who think they may miss the deadline should ask the IRS for an extension. That can be done by submitting Form 4868. Six-month extensions are granted automatically, giving filers until Oct. 15 and allowing them to avoid a late-filing penalty -- normally 5 percent per month based on the unpaid balance.
For those who owe taxes, the extension won't help. Payments still must be submitted by today's deadline, however they can be made in installments. Form 9465 is needed for that and it comes with fees.
Still, it's better than not filing a return at all. That is considered income tax evasion. Penalties include paying back taxes, interest, possible fines, and possibly even serving a prison sentence in the most serious cases.
Taxpayers had an extra two days to get their returns in this year because April 15 fell on a Sunday and yesterday was Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia.
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