Monday, October 5, 2009

Big Oct. 15 tax deadlines coming up fast

Heads up, taxpayers. You've only got 10 more days to meet some important Oct. 15 tax deadlines.

About 10 million taxpayers who requested filing extensions last April face the biggest one. Oct. 15 is their last chance to file their tax year 2008 returns penalty-free. There are a few exceptions. Anyone serving in a combat zone and some disaster victims have more time. You don't want to qualify.

Oct. 15 also is the final deadline that taxpayers in Missouri, Kansas and many other states can qualify for property tax relief, sales tax refunds and other special tax breaks for the poor or elderly, if they haven't already. The applications are part of state income tax returns, due when federal returns are filed.

Oct. 15 also is the deadline for getting a do-over if you flubbed a Roth IRA conversion. Technically, the process is called recharacterization, but it's a chance to turn a turn your converted Roth back to a traditional IRA and get back tax money you paid when markets were higher. And if you have money stashed in a secret overseas bank account, Oct. 15 is your last chance to come clean with the IRS and avoid harsher penalties later.

Finally, there's a soft deadline to be aware of if you hope to collect a potential $8,000 credit for first time home buyers. You probably need to pick your new home by mid October to formally close by the Dec. 1 deadline and qualify for the credit.

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