Have no fear...there may be more time to file your 2009 tax return

  • Published
  • By Catherine Harrington
  • 36th Wing Judge Advocate General
As the 2009 Tax Season comes to a close, many of us are scrambling to make sure that we have completed and filed our tax returns. If you aren't unable to make the April 15 deadline, there might be additional time to complete your 2009 Tax Return. If you are a U.S. armed forces member serving on Guam, and not a bona fide resident of Guam, you are allowed an automatic two-month extension.

According to Publication 570: Tax Guide for Individuals with Income from U.S. Possessions: "You are allowed an automatic two-month extension (until June 15, 2010, if you use the calendar year) to file your 2009 return and pay any federal income tax due. If you pay the tax due after the regular due date (generally April 15), interest will be charged from that date until the date the tax is paid."

If you are filing a joint return, only one spouse has to qualify for this automatic extension. If you and your spouse file separate returns, this automatic extension applies only to the spouse that qualifies. If you are unable to make the June 15, 2010 deadline, you must file IRS Form 4868 for an additional 4-month extension. Most importantly, please remember this is an extension to file your return, not an extension to pay your taxes. Should you have a tax liability and have questions regarding payments, contact the IRS directly at (800)829-1040 or www.irs.gov.

Please Note: If you are required to file with Guam Department Revenue and Taxation, this automatic extension does not apply.

If you are not making a tax payment and should be receiving a tax refund, there is not a penalty for not filing for the tax year. The statute of limitations for late filing or amending previous year's tax return is three years. In most cases, you will not be able to use the E-File system, specifically if you are filing a return from a previous year. Amended returns (1040X) are only accepted via paper-file.

Should you need help with filing or amendments after April 15, the 36th Wing Legal Office will continue to offer tax assistance. Please call 366-2937 to schedule an appointment.