SOURCE: H & R Block

October 09, 2009 10:16 ET

10 Million Taxpayers Face Oct. 15 Extension Deadline

Millions More See Trio of Tax-Related Deadlines in Coming Weeks

KANSAS CITY, MO--(Marketwire - October 9, 2009) - While an estimated 10 million taxpayers have to file their 2008 returns by the Oct. 15 extension deadline, millions more are facing other tax-related deadlines this fall. H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) reminds taxpayers about a trio of tax decisions that could substantially affect their tax liability.

Those deadlines include:

-- First-time homebuyer credit - Qualifying taxpayers must close on that first home on or by Nov. 30 to receive up to an $8,000 credit.

-- Making Work Pay credit - For millions of American workers, the Making Work Pay credit could mean a lower refund or higher balance due. Now is the time to double check withholdings and make necessary changes.

-- Benefits enrollment - Fall benefits enrollment is a key time for taxpayers to maximize health care and retirement plans and minimize their tax liability.

"Most Americans don't start thinking about taxes until January. But, by then it's too late," said Doug Duty, vice president of tax services at H&R Block. "There are several key tax deadlines requiring action now that may mean the difference between owing the IRS and getting a refund. The clock is ticking."

Extension deadline draws near

Taxpayers who requested an extension to file their 2008 tax returns have less than a week to submit their return. H&R Block can help those who have yet to file ensure they receive every credit and deduction they are entitled.

"Remember, an extension to file is not an extension to pay," Duty said. "Our 4,500 year-round offices can help taxpayers prepare their returns by the Oct. 15 extension deadline and help them work with the IRS to settle any tax bill."

Funds for first-time homebuyers

The IRS estimates 1.4 million first-time homebuyers have taken advantage of the Recovery Act provision. The credit, worth up to the lesser of $8,000 or 10 percent of the home's price, can be claimed on the taxpayer's 2008 or 2009 tax return. To qualify, first-time homebuyers must close on the house on or by Nov. 30.

"First-time homebuyers should consult their tax professional to determine whether it's more beneficial to claim the credit on their 2008 tax return or wait until they file next spring," said Duty.

Making Work Pay

The Making Work Pay tax credit gave most workers a bump in their paychecks. Certain groups of taxpayers should check their withholding and make appropriate changes before the end of the year to prevent a bigger bill at tax-time. Groups of workers who may end up owing as a result include:

--  Married couples with dual incomes
--  Individuals with multiple incomes
--  Retirees who have taxes withheld from a pension or Social Security
--  Individuals who work but may be claimed as a dependent on someone
    else's tax return.

The credit is worth up to $400 for individuals or $800 for couples. Taxpayers can use the H&R Block Making Work Pay calculator or log onto to determine if they're withholding enough.

Open enrollment on the horizon

Many may not see it as a tax issue, but fall open enrollment means taxpayers can select the appropriate employer-sponsored health and retirement plans, while minimizing their tax liability.

"Making informed benefit decisions can mean lower taxes and more cash in your wallet," said Duty. "Health insurance premiums paid pre-tax and money set aside in retirement plans translates to reduced taxable compensation and more take-home pay."

About H&R Block

H&R Block Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is the world's preeminent tax services provider, having prepared more than 500 million tax returns since 1955. In fiscal 2009, H&R Block had annual revenues of $4.1 billion and prepared more than 24 million tax returns worldwide, utilizing more than 120,000 highly trained tax professionals. The Company provides tax return preparation services in person, online through H&R Block Online, through its TaxCut® software and through other channels. The Company is also one of the leading providers of business services through RSM McGladrey. For more information visit our Online Press Center at

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