Tax deadline looms

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 15, 2011

Last-minute tax filers have until midnight on Monday to get tax returns filed.

Nevertheless, experts say there is still plenty of time to either do it yourself, but if you need professional tax help, it’s wise to ask for an extension.

The IRS estimates that 350,000 Alabamians have waited until April to file their federal tax returns, and another 125,000 are expected to request a six-month filing extension.

Those who owe tax must file their return or an extension form by April 18 to avoid the late-filing penalty .

“Those filing last-minute tax return or extension can benefit from e-filing or going to an IRS help site,” said IRS spokesman Dan Boone.

Local accountant Greg White advises those who haven’t set up an appointment with their accountant for today to go online and file their extension with the state and the IRS.

For those who plan to do it themselves, White said that forms are hard to find this year, but they are all available on the IRS web site.

“That’s directly where I would go,” he said. “Be sure to find the correct mailing address for your form. There’s (an address) for our state.”

White said most people are e-filing, which gives them the flexibility of filing on time.

For those who need to file their taxes on their own, the IRS offers free tax software to those whose household income is less than $58,000. Filers 60 and older or whose household income was $49,000 or less can get free tax preparation and e-filing at local help site.

Filers can check the site or call 1-800-906-9887.

For those who owe tax and cannot pay all of their balance, the IRS recommends that they pay as much as possible in order to minimize penalties and interest.

Those who cannot pay the amount in its entirety can also set up an installment agreement. There are several options for which to do this.

• Those who owe $25,000 or less in combined tax, penalties and interest qualify to use the online payment agreement, which is found at

• File a form 9645 to request an installment agreement.

IRS offices in Mobile and Birmingham will be open Saturday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. for those who need help filing taxes or have questions.