Saturday, April 11

Last weekend before the April 15 deadline

Are your taxes done?

The April 15th deadline to file your personal taxes is almost here.

Can't pay the taxes you owe? Don't panic, yet. If you can't pay the full amount of taxes you owe, you should still file your return by the 15th of April and pay as much as you can to avoid the full amount of penalties and interest you would incur if you paid nothing. Contact the IRS and discuss your options. If you take the time and initiative to explain your situation, you may be granted a short-term extension.

If you lost your job in 2008 you still owe taxes. You owe taxes on severance pay, unemployment compensation, and any amount paid for accumulated sick time or vacation. The IRS recommends having estimated taxes withheld so you're not stuck with a big tax bill. The federal stimulus package exempts the first $2,400 of unemployment benefits received in 2009.

If you are actively searching for a job you may be able to deduct some job search expenses, even if you don't land a new job. Expenses may include travel, resume writing and printing and placement agency fees. Moving costs for a new job at least 50 miles away from your previous home can also be deductible.

If you lost your home in a foreclosure during 2008 you may be able to receive assistance under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007. Taxpayers can exclude income from the discharge of debt on their principal residence. This does not include second homes or vacation homes that were foreclosed on. You may even be able to file an amended tax return for previous tax years. Losses from the sale of personal-use property, such as your home or car, are not deductible.

You can get an extension until Oct. 15 by filing Form 4868, but you are required to pay 90% of the expected tax bill at the time of the extension.

If you need to contact the IRS you can call them at (800) 829-1040 or use the IRS website to find other ways to contact the IRS

No matter what, not filling is not an option.

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