April 17 is a red letter day in the tax world

Tuesday, April 17, is the deadline for filing certain returns and taking certain tax-related actions. Here are the major deadlines.

  • Filing 2011 income tax returns for individuals. If you cannot file your return by this deadline, be sure to file an extension request by April 17. The automatic extension (you don’t need to explain to the IRS why you need more time) gives you until October 15, 2012, to file your return. An extension does not, generally, give you more time to pay taxes you still owe. To avoid penalty and interest charges, taxes must be paid by April 17. (See article below for penalty relief available to qualifying taxpayers.)
  • Filing 2011 partnership returns for calendar-year partnerships.
  • Filing 2011 income tax returns for calendar-year trusts and estates.
  • Filing 2011 annual gift tax returns.
  • Making 2011 IRA contributions.
  • Paying the first quarterly estimate of 2012 individual estimated tax.
  • Amending 2008 individual tax returns (unless the 2008 return had a filing extension).
  • Original filing of 2008 individual income tax return to claim a refund of taxes. Some taxpayers have tax refunds due them for prior years, and unless a return is filed to claim the refund by the three-year statute of limitations, the refund is lost forever.
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