Biz Bits: Last chance to file your taxes

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Number to Know: April 15

Last day to file your taxes or an extension without penalty.

If You Need to File an Extension …

To get a six-month extension (Oct. 15 would be your tax day then), you need to file Form 4868 with the IRS by April 15. You can file it electronically or send it by mail (it must be postmarked by the 15th).

However …

If you owe on your taxes, they must be paid by the 15th, even if you file an extension.

Can’t Pay It All?

“Pay as much as you can with your return (or extension) and use if you need to request a payment agreement,” IRS spokeswoman Dianne Besunder said. “By filing on time, the taxpayer avoids the 5 percent-a-month late-filing fee.” To set up a payment plan, go to and click on the “Online Payment Agreement” link.

Extra Incentive to File on Time

You won’t receive your economic stimulus check until you’ve filed your taxes. So if you’re banking on that money to pay for your summer vacation, you’d best file as soon as possible.

Quote of Note

"Eighty percent of our clientele file (their taxes) in April. I'd say about 15 to 20 percent have to file for an extension."

Lionel LaSalle of LaSalle Lupo Associates in Griswold, Conn.

Midnight Deadline?

The U.S. Postal Service used to keep offices open until midnight for filers to capture the needed April 15 postmark on their envelopes, but with the upswing in electronic filing, the post office found not as many people needed the extra hours. So if you’re mailing your return and think you might cut it close, make sure you know what time your local post office will close on April 15.

Need Help?

If you need assistance filing your taxes or an extension, contact a local reputable tax service, or contact the IRS, which provides free tax help. The IRS can be contacted at 800-906-9887 or through their Web site,

Has Tax Day Always Been April 15?

The Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution gave Congress the legal authority to tax individuals' incomes in 1913. The filing deadline that year was March 1, and in 1918, it was changed to March 15. The April 15 deadline took effect in 1955.

Famous April 15 Events

- 1865: Abraham Lincoln dies after being shot the previous evening by John Wilkes Booth.

- 1892: The General Electric Company forms.

- 1924: Rand McNally publishes its first road atlas.

- 1947: Jackie Robinson debuts for the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team, breaking that sport's color line.

- 1955: Ray Kroc opens his first franchise of McDonald's restaurant in Des Plaines, Ill.

IRS History

In July 1862, President Lincoln and Congress created the office of Commissioner of Internal Revenue and enacted an income tax to pay war expenses. This organization was created to enforce these taxes named for the internal revenue to be collected (and was formerly called the Bureau of Internal Revenue), in contrast to U.S. government institutions that collected external revenue through duties and tariffs.

The IRS has its National Capital offices in the Washington, D.C., area, and in particular does most of its computer programming in Maryland. It operates various service centers around the country (currently 10; these are the locations to which taxpayers mail their returns).

As early as 1918, the Bureau of Internal Revenue began using the name Internal Revenue Service on at least one tax form. In 1953, the name change to the Internal Revenue Service was formalized in Treasury Decision 6038.

Information from, the Norwich (Conn.) Bulletin, Wikipedia, Ask Yahoo

GateHouse News Service