Although most taxpayers have long since filed their 2003 federal income tax returns, the Internal Revenue Service said today that more than two million people still face the October 15 filing deadline.
However, there are many taxpayers in Presidentially declared disaster areas who have been granted additional time to file their tax returns. These extensions affect taxpayers in parts of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. Most of those areas were affected by recent hurricanes.
Taxpayers who received an additional extension in August must file their returns by October 15 to avoid the late filing penalty, which is generally 5% per month of any unpaid tax. Last year, the IRS received more than 2 million returns in October.
Taxpayers who already filed a timely tax return are approaching the deadline for recharacterizing, or reversing, a 2003 conversion of a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. This might be desirable because of a sharp decline in the IRA's value. To do so, a taxpayer must arrange with the IRA trustee to complete the recharacterization by October 15. An amended tax return may get the taxpayer a refund on the resulting lower income.