April 09, 2008 // Franchising.com // (Virginia Beach, VA) The anticipation of tax rebate checks may be providing an extra incentive for taxpayers to file earlier this year. The IRS reports that individual tax filing is up over 7.4% from this time last year, and total e-filing receipts are up 9.2%. For those holdouts still getting ready for the last minute filing rush, Liberty Tax Service offers some tips for streamlining the process to meet the April 15th deadline.
The IRS will grant an automatic six-month filing extension to taxpayers who file a timely extension request, and e-filing that request is the fastest and most efficient method available. Taxpayers do not need to provide a reason for their request, but must file Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, by April 15th to receive a filing extension until October 15th. If returns aren't completed by October 15th this year, the taxpayer will not be eligible for a tax rebate check.
"An extension of time to file a tax return still does not constitute an extension of time to pay any tax liability. Penalties and interest accrue from April 15th if the tax liability has not been paid," said John Hewitt, CEO and Founder of Liberty Tax Service.
Taxpayers can charge their taxes owed to a MasterCard, VISA, Discover, or American Express Card. They can also pay on the internet by going to www.pay1040.com or www.officialpayments.com, or call 1-888-PAY1040 (1-888-729-1040) or 1-800-2PAY-TAX (1-800-272-9829). A convenience fee applies.
What other options are available for those who owe? Taking out a bank loan may be the least costly option. Another option is to ask the IRS for permission to make monthly installment payments. Those who are not currently on an IRS installment plan can complete Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request, and attach it to their return. To limit penalty and interest charges, it's advisable to pay as much of the tax due as possible when sending in the return. Taxpayers who have already mailed or electronically filed their returns can mail Form 9465 to the appropriate IRS Service Center. The IRS usually approves or denies installment requests within 30 days of receipt.
This year, the economic tax stimulus package means that most taxpayers who file are eligible for a rebate, even those who would not normally file a return. Filers who use direct deposit will start receiving the tax rebates as early as May 2nd, and paper checks will be in the mail as early as May 16th.
Many Liberty Tax Service offices will offer extended hours during the final days of the tax filing season. Liberty Tax Service is the fastest growing retail tax preparation company in the industry's history. Founded in 1997 by CEO John T. Hewitt, a pioneer in the tax industry, Liberty Tax Service (www.libertytax.com) has prepared over 5,000,000 individual income tax returns and currently operates over 2,700 offices throughout the United States and Canada.
Liberty Tax Service provides computerized income tax preparation, electronic filing, and refund loans. With an emphasis on customer service including audit assistance, a money back guarantee, and free tax return checking, Liberty Tax Service is well known for its strong commitment to its client base. With 39 years of tax industry experience, Hewitt stands as the most experienced CEO in the tax preparation business, having also founded Jackson Hewitt Tax Service (NYSE: JTX).