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8/24/2016

Avoid Additional Penalties! Pay Your Tax Bill Before Summer Ends!

You may have gotten your tax extension e-filed on time, but that doesn’t mean you should take things too easy - especially if you owe the IRS money. The biggest mistake taxpayers make with extension forms is thinking it extends everything regarding their taxes.

The truth is that extension forms can only prolong the time to file your actual tax return - nothing more, nothing less.

If you have any tax liabilities, you must pay your tax bill before the original IRS deadline. For those of you who haven’t paid yet, here are six easy ways from the IRS to settle your bill.

Reply to the IRS
The IRS typically sends out postal notifications if you happen to owe them money - you should read it carefully and follow its instructions. If the IRS needs you to respond verbally to the notice, the letter will explicitly say so. If you believe that the notice is an error, you have the right to contact them about it. Under normal circumstances, you file the notice in your records and proceed to pay your tax bill.

Pay Taxes Online
There are various electronic payment methods, which you can pay your taxes quickly, accurately, and securely with the IRS - you’ll also receive a payment receipt. These methods include
Important: You can use the IRS Direct Pay and EFTPS for free; however, there are processing fees involved with using credit or debit cards for payment.

Apply for a Payment Plan
If you can’t pay your tax bill all at once, then consider applying for an installment agreement. You can either submit an Online Payment Agreement Application or file IRS Form 9465 - both are available for download or print at the IRS website.

Create a Direct Debit Plan
One of those installment agreements includes a low-cost direct debit plan. With this type of contract, you can set up a day each month to automatically pay the IRS directly from your bank account. It’s cost about $52 to set up the plan, but it gets rid of continuous reminders and prevents missed payments.

Pay Physically by Check or Money Order
You can write a check or money order payable to the U.S. Treasury - make sure to include the following information:
  • Name, Address, and Daytime Phone Number
  • Social Security Number or Employer ID Number
  • Tax Period and Related Tax Form (e.g., “2015 Form 1040”)
Send your payment to the address listed on your notice - do not send any cash through the mail.

Get an Offer in Compromise
If paying your tax bill in full creates an additional financial hardship, you may be eligible for an Offer in Compromise (OIC), which allows you to pay the IRS less than what you owe. Not everyone will qualify, but you can use the Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier Tool to see if you meet requirements.

As Summer begins to come to close, why not end the season with the IRS paid in full? With ExpressExtension.com, you can even use our Electronic Funds Withdrawal (EFW) option to pay estimated taxes with your checking or savings account information.

Our U.S. - based, e-file professionals are available for any questions or assistance with tax extensions. Give us a call at 803.514.5155, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST or email us with support@ExpressExtension.com.


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8/22/2016

Beat IRS Filing Deadlines! Know Your Electronic Postmark

For many of us, every tax season seems like a race against time to get either tax returns or extensions to the IRS. We either play it extremely safe and e-file weeks in advance or take our chances waiting until the last minute.

In either case, we force ourselves to complete as much as possible at one time just to e-file as fast as we can - this doesn’t have to be an issue with a clear understanding of electronic postmarks and IRS deadlines.

What is an Electronic Postmark?
Anytime you e-file an electronic form with ExpressExtension.com; it contains a mark that shows the exact date and time you transmitted to the IRS. Based on where you live in the US, you may need to consider your time zone to determine your actual postmark time.

Why does it matter?
An electronic postmark goes hand-in-hand with your filing due date - especially if you have no choice but to e-file the day of the deadline. We all aim to e-file on time and avoid paying late filing penalties whenever possible.

The IRS states,
  • If the electronic postmark is on or before the original filing deadline, but the IRS receives your return after the deadline, the IRS still considers your return as timely filed.
  • If the electronic postmark is after the original filing deadline, the IRS sees the postmark is beyond the due date and considers the filing late.
  • If the IRS rejects your return, you need to file a correction in compliance with the rules for a timely filed returns after a rejection.
With ExpressExtension.com, the electronic postmark is generated in Eastern Standard Time; however, if you e-filed from another time zone, your actual postmark reflects your physical location.

Here’s an example:
  • E-filing with ExpressExtension.com - Wednesday, August 17, 2016, 11:52 p.m. EST (Electronic Postmark)
  • E-filing with ExpressExtension.com from California - Wednesday, August 17, 2016, 8:52 p.m. PST (Actual Postmark)
It’s the actual postmark that the IRS uses to determine if you e-filed before the deadline. Your return can still be on time if it’s e-filed by midnight, local time, on the deadline date.

Make timely e-filings to the IRS with ExpressExtension.com and get approved within minutes. Beat your filing due dates anywhere you are with our FREE downloadable mobile apps for each of our tax extensions on your favorite iOS or Android handset.

Contact our U.S. - based, e-filing professionals at 803.514.5155, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m to 6 p.m. EST - we are happy to assist with your e-filing experience. Or send us an email at your convenience with support@ExpressExtension.com.


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8/17/2016

Mobile E-filing with ExpressTaxExempt - Form 8868 App

If you plan on filing an extension this tax season, there’s no need to be in a frantic rush to get to a computer and file. Of course, you need to e-file before the IRS due date, but if you could casually do so from wherever you are at this exact moment, would you?

We thought you would, which is why we’re proud to offer our FREE downloadable ExpressTaxExempt - Form 8868 mobile app!

Conveniently E-File Anywhere
Whether you’re at the job, store, airport, or wherever there isn’t a readily available desktop computer, you can e-file your tax extension quickly and securely from the palm of your hand. With our accessible Form 8868 mobile app, you can
  • Re-transmit any rejected extensions for FREE
  • View, download, or email a PDF copy of your accepted IRS Form 8868
  • E-file extensions for multiple tax-exempt organizations from one account
  • Receive automatic email notifications for transmitted, accepted, and rejected extensions

Easy Steps to E-file
All you need is a few brief moments, and you can have your exempt organization tax extension sent and approved in minutes with these easy e-filing steps:
  1. 1. Create an account or log in with the ExpressTaxExempt - Form 8868 mobile app
  2. 2. Enter your organization's basic information (Name, EIN, Address, and Phone Number)
  3. 3. Select which IRS form you are applying for the extension
  4. 4. Input your organization's tax year period
  5. 5. Choose your type of extension and submit signing authority information
  6. 6. Review your return and correct any errors
  7. 7. Pay and transmit to the IRS

Important: Remember, you can only e-file for IRS Form 8868 Part 2 if the IRS approved your Part 1 extension earlier this year. You also need to provide a valid reason why you need the extra time to file, which the IRS can accept or reject.

Save yourself from any unnecessary rush or stress - comfortably e-file anywhere from your favorite iOS or Android devices. Our U.S. - based, customer support team is available to assist with your e-filing experience. Reach us at 803.514.5155, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. You can also contact us through email with support@ExpressExtension.com.



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8/15/2016

Major IRS Deadlines on the Horizon!

Typically, the month of August signifies the end of Summer - not much the end of the season, but rather the fun and excitement associated with summer break.

The school year starts back up, the midday crowds become less, and even if summer holidays didn’t change much of your adult life, there’s still an ambient feeling you can’t avoid as Summer makes its inevitable exit.

August also signals the start those extended IRS deadlines that’s been following you ever since Spring. The extended time is coming closer to the end - if you e-filed any of the following tax extensions, you must prepare to file soon or risk paying up to thousands in IRS penalty fees.

Exempt Organization Tax Extension (Filing Due Date: August 15)
The first of these extended deadlines ends TODAY! But that’s three months in total you had to get ready. Nonprofits and charities that are required to file IRS Form 990, or IRS Form 990-EZ must do so on time or pay the following penalty:

  • A daily charge of $20, or $100 if gross receipts are over $1 million, each day your filing is late - up to a maximum penalty of $50,000 or 5% of your gross receipts.

There is still hope if you’re not ready to file yet. You can apply for an additional, non-automatic 3-month extension which will push your filing time all the way to November. Head over to our sister site, ExpressTaxExempt.com, to start e-filing your tax return or tax extension.

Business Tax Extension (Filing Due Date: September 15)
The next extended deadline to end soon is for businesses who e-filed IRS Form 7004 earlier this year. Multi-Member LLCs, C-Corporations, S-Corporations and the like have a less than a month left to prepare and file with the IRS. If not, you can look forward to paying

  • 5% of your unpaid taxes each month or part of the month you’re late with a return - up to 25% of your unpaid taxes.

If your return is more than 60 days late, expect your penalty fee to increase to 100% of your unpaid tax or a minimum charge of $135, whichever amount is smaller in your situation. Unlike exempt organizations, there’s no extra extension after this deadline - you either file on time or pay up.

Personal Tax Extension (Filing Due Date: October 17)
The last extended deadline is still two months away, but that doesn’t mean you should rest easy up until the last minute. Personal tax filers and Single-Member LLCs that e-filed IRS Form 4868 back in April need to file their return on time are face the same late penalty fees as businesses.

If you happen to owe the IRS any money, you should have paid it by the original IRS deadline as a tax extension only extends your time to file. If you didn’t, you’re probably dealing with this penalty:

  • 0.5% to 1% of your unpaid taxes each month or part of the month you haven’t paid - up to 25% of your unpaid taxes.

There’s no additional extension for this filing either, so you’ll want file as soon as you can to avoid any penalties. For those of you that have adjusted gross incomes under $62,000, you can use the IRS Free File service to file electronically.

Tax extensions are extremely helpful, but you need to remember that at some point you will need to file your required tax return. It best to use your extra time wisely or else you’ll find yourself in a situation with IRS penalties.

With ExpressExtension.com, you can experience the convenience of e-filing wherever you are with our FREE downloadable mobile apps for Form 7004, 4868, and 8868 - e-file on the go with your favorite iOS or Android devices. Our U.S. - based customer support team is ready to assist whenever you need - call us at 803.514.5515, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST or email a message to support@ExpressExtension.com.


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8/10/2016

Applicable Forms for 8868 Extension

Typically, nonprofits and charities can file IRS Form 8868 to extend the time necessary to file their IRS Form 990 or Form 990-EZ. The 8868 extension is broken down into two parts that can grant up to six months of extra filing time.
  • Part 1 - Automatic 3-Month Extension
  • Part 2 - Additional, Not Automatic 3-Month Extension
For those of you operating exempt organizations, this isn’t new information; however, Form 990/990-EZ aren’t the only tax returns that gain an advantage from a tax extension. Here’s a short list of other IRS forms you can apply to an 8868:


Important: Only IRS Form 990-T can receive a full 6-month extension from a single file. With all the other applicable forms - including Form 990/990-EZ, the IRS requires approval for Part 1 followed by Part 2 to gain all six months. The only exempt organization tax return you cannot use an 8868 for is IRS Form 990-N (e-Postcard).

Keep in mind that an 8868 extension only extends the time you have to file your form. If you’re in a situation where you owe the IRS any money, you must pay it by the original deadline - Form 8868 will not extend your time to pay.

Make an effort to file Part 1 before your original due date and Part 2 before the end of your extended deadline - failing to file on time is a sure way for the IRS to reject your extension request.

With ExpressExtension.com, our cloud-based, e-filing solutions are made easy. You can complete and transmit Form 8868 for any of these applicable tax returns and get approved in minutes. Contact our U.S - based customer support for any assistance with the e-filing process - we’re available at 803.514.5155, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. Or send us an email with support@ExpressExtension.com.



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8/08/2016

Extended IRS Deadline for Exempt Organizations

Three months come, and then they go! And before you realize it, you’re right back where you were earlier this year deciding whether to e-file a return or tax extension form. If you’re completely ready to e-file for your exempt organization, you should do so as soon as possible before the August 15 extended deadline.

Knowing which form you’re required to file is half the battle and will depend on the gross receipts from your organization. Don’t get confused and file the wrong form - the IRS marks incorrect forms as incomplete, which can lead to late filing penalties if you submit all over again after the deadline.

Form 990/990-EZ
If your nonprofit or charity typically earns more than $200,000 per year and has over $500,000 in assets, you’ll need to file IRS Form 990. For organizations earning between $50,000 and $200,000, with total assets less $500,000, you’re required to file IRS Form 990-EZ.

Apply for an Additional Extension
If you’re still not quite ready to e-file your return with the IRS, you can still save your organization the trouble of paying IRS penalties with an additional, non-automatic 3-month tax extension. To e-file IRS Form 8868 Part 2, you must have filed and been approved for Part I by the IRS back in May. You also need to provide a valid reason why you need the extra time.

E-file with ExpressExtension
With ExpressExtension.com, you can e-file for extra filing time within minutes by following these simple steps:
  1. 1. Register or sign in with ExpressExtension.com
  2. 2. Add organization's basic information (Name, EIN, Address, and Phone Number)
  3. 3. Select the IRS form which you are applying for the extension
  4. 4. Enter your organization's tax year period
  5. 5. Choose your extension type and provide information for signing authority
  6. 6. Review your return and fix any errors
  7. 7. Pay and transmit to the IRS
If your form gets rejected due to incorrect information, you can always log in, correct any errors, and re-transmit it the IRS at no extra charge.

Convenient E-filing Anywhere
Not everyone can drop everything to get to a desktop computer and file a tax extension. But with our FREE downloadable ExpressTaxExempt - Form 8868 mobile app, you can e-file from anywhere you are with your iOS or Android device - just follow the same easy steps and get back to other matters.

Our e-filing experts in Rock Hill, South Carolina are here to help with your e-filing experience. Talk to us Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST at 704.839.2321 or email us 24/7 with support@ExpressExtension.com.


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8/03/2016

South Carolina Tax-Free Weekend

As the summer break begins to draw to a close, parents are gearing their children with the supplies necessary to succeed throughout the school year. And every year, there’s that anticipated weekend guaranteed to put a smile on the face of every taxpaying parent - yes, we’re talking about the annual Sales Tax Holiday Weekend.

The State of South Carolina hosts its sales tax holiday this weekend beginning on Friday, August 5, and ending in the late evening on Sunday, August 7. During this time, you can purchase typical “Back-to-School” items exempt from the state’s sales tax and any other applicable local sales tax.
These items include
  • Clothes and shoes
  • Bedspreads and linens
  • Computers and printers
  • School supplies and book bags
You may also save money on various electronic items like computer software and hand-held computers or bathroom supplies such as washcloths, towels, and bath mats; however, there are numerous items that aren't included in the tax breaks. This list from the State of South Carolina Department of Revenue conveniently details which store items are exempt and not exempt.

According to statistics, shoppers typically save around $2 to $3 million in sales tax throughout the entire weekend. Not only does the holiday weekend allow parents to save money on essential school items for their kids, but it also boosts in-state businesses with the increased shopping traffic.

Many other states host their own tax-free weekend, which you can find here if you’re not a resident of South Carolina. You can also check your state’s Department of Revenue website for more detailed information about its sales tax holiday.

For major purchases outside of this weekend, don’t forget to save those receipts! Check with your local tax professional about deducting those amounts from your tax bill. If you need more time before filing your tax return, e-file IRS Form 4868 for a tax extension. Even better - download our FREE Express4868 mobile app for iOS or Android devices to conveniently e-file without missing any of the tax-free excitement this weekend!

For any questions or assistance with the e-filing process, don’t hesitate to contact our U.S. - based customer support - we are more than happy to help out. Call us at 803.514.5155, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, or write to us anytime you can with support@ExpressExtension.com.


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8/01/2016

End-of-Summer Tax Tips

We’ve officially made it to the last full month of Summer. Some of you are still trying to use your vacation time, while others are already shopping for back to school gear. And then there are those who can let the last days of Summer tick away leisurely by the pool - that’s awesome!

But however you choose to spend the end of Summer, one thing we can all benefit from is taking a look at our tax position or situation. Remember, tax preparation is a year-long thing, and the sooner you start, the easier time you’ll have during tax season. Here a few tax prep moves you can make before Summer’s end.

Adjust Withholdings
Were you surprised with a huge tax refund this year? In reality, that means the IRS took a bit too much from your paychecks and held that money interest free - money that you could’ve used at the time.

The goal is to have just enough withheld from your pay to cover your yearly tax bill - too less and you’ll have to send the IRS a check, but too much, and you’re sitting around waiting for money that was already yours. Changing your withholdings is as simple as filing a new W-4 with your employer.

Review Estimated Taxes
For any income you receive that isn’t subject to withholdings, you’re required to pay tax liabilities, which ensures you’re accountable for all your earned income. You don’t want to pay under or overpay your estimated taxes. Take a look at how much you’ve submitted with your IRS Form 1040-ES back in April and June - then conclude what you have left to pay in September and January.

Check our information blog about the various ways you can pay off your tax bill: Have Tax Liabilities? Pay Your Tax Bill Instantly!

Keep Those Child Care Receipts
If you used any short-term child care services this Summer while working, those receipts could help cut your tax bill as deductions. Of course, parents can claim the Child and Dependent Care Credit for expenses; however, the IRS will allow totals spent from hiring a sitter or day care towards your credit.

Head on over to our easy read blog for more details: Summer Tax Tips for Child Care

Store Medical Receipts
No kids? No problem! For taxpayers 65 years or older, you can claim credits on medical and dental expenses that are greater than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income - this can also include traveling to get prescriptions and treatments. Joint filers can take advantage as long as at least one of you are 65.

Make a Charitable Contribution
It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, nonprofits and charities will gladly accept donations. If you have any old summer clothing, unwanted household items, or just want to give a monetary gift, you can claim those amounts as deductions from your tax bill. Be sure to itemize and get some form of documentation from the exempt organization. Without it, the IRS can disallow your deduction claim.

Complete Your 2015 Tax Return
The most important and obvious task to complete before Summer ends - your personal tax return for the current filing year. If you filed IRS Form 4868 back in April, you still have until October 17 to file on time, but don’t breathe too easy - waiting to the last minute leads to filing errors which can cause IRS penalties. Start now and do a little at a time to keep things accurate.

If you didn’t file for an extension or it got rejected, why are you wasting valuable time?! You can even file with the IRS Free File program, which allows you to submit online, and for free, if your adjusted gross income is $62,000 or lower. There are plenty of other things you can do to keep your taxes in perspective, but that list can go on and on. Meet with your local tax professional or CPA for more ways to have your taxes in check before the new filing season.

If you do plan on waiting until after the end of the year, as most taxpayers do for a multitude of reasons, give yourself more filing time to submit a correct form. With ExpressExtension.com, you can e-file a personal tax extension and get automatically approved for six extra months after the deadline. We also offer our FREE Express4868 app for iOS and Android devices for convenient on-the-go e-filing.

For any questions or assistance with your e-filing experience, contact our U.S. - based, e-filing professionals at 803.514.5155. We’re available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, and you can reach us 27/4 with support@ExpressExtension.com.


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7/27/2016

5 Online Tools for Nonprofit Donations

One of the more streamlined ways to bring in multitudes of charitable donations is through online fundraising. Each year, many nonprofits and charities utilize online methods to bring in funds; however, a pressing issue is finding the most compatible tool to use with your organization.

With the many choices available, it can be a daunting task to figure out which one is right for you. Fortunately, we can give a sense of where to start. Here is a list of five online donation tools deemed “favorites” throughout the Internet based on accessibility and affordability.

PayPal Donations
Paypal has a service that’s designed to assist nonprofits with donations received online. They offer a convenient donation button, which also allows you to obtain donor information through HTML - a feature many other service providers don’t have.

Contributors who already use PayPal will find this as an optimum, but for first-time users, there is an option to make one-time payments without creating an account. The standard charge is 2.2% of the donation along with $0.30 per donation.

Google Wallet
Google Wallet offers easy access to your organization’s online contributions and shop history. Once set, your contributors can repeat donations with simple clicks. There aren’t many options for personal customization, but the Google brand alone is unique. The standard fees are 2.9% with another $0.30 per donation.

Razoo Donation Widget
With Razoo, you can create fundraising pages or use their donation widget to accept donations from your organization's website easily. Like Paypal, Razoo also offers the option of one-time payments. Along with an easy setup, the service charges a 4.9% processing fee per donation.

DonateNow Lite
Network for Good’s service, DonateNow, is best described as an all-in-one virtual donation aid. They offer a variety of benefits such as donation pages, email service, and real customer service.
Users see DonateNow services as relatively expensive; however, they do offer an affordable option with DonateNow Lite. You’ll get your donations page, the ability for recurring contributions, and a transaction fee of 5% per donation.

FirstGiving
From the very start, FirstGiving is optimized for nonprofit organizations. You can combine their services with other tools like client relation management, social media, analytics, donor management, and email. The standard donation fee is 7.5%, but the majority of the fee goes to upkeep of services like managing direct donations, communications, and fundraising campaigns.

Remember: This by no means a definitive list - just a starting reference from what others have seen the majority of the nonprofit industry use. There are many others you can try out and decide which is best for your organization.

After choosing your service and stockpiling those online donations, you can quickly report them on your IRS Form 990/990-EZ with our affiliate site, ExpressTaxExempt.com. Our service guides you step-by-step e-filing the 990 series, and you can list all your contributions at once with our bulk upload feature.

E-filing assistance is only a phone call away - our live experts in Rock Hill, South Carolina, are waiting for you. Contact us at 704.839.2321, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. You can also send us a message any time of the day with support@ExpressTaxExempt.com.


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7/25/2016

Tax Breaks for Single Parents

Raising children can yield a joyful and rewarding experience. It can be challenging, but it’s also one of the most enjoyable aspects of adulthood - what's even more difficult is raising a child or children as a single parent, which the responsibility of day-to-day child care falls on one person.

For those of you in need, there are assistance programs for single parents. One of these programs comes in the form of various tax credits that are available to claim. Here are five tax breaks eligible for single parents.

Head of Household Status
Typically, a single parent should file as head of household - not only will the status open up child-related tax deductions, but also lower your income tax bracket and increase the standard deduction amount.

If you’re a single parent due to death of a spouse, you can still file a joint tax return for the year your spouse passed, which still gives you the benefits of a married couple. Afterward, you could earn eligibility as a widower with a dependent child.

Dependent Claims

To claim your child as a dependent, the little one must meet the five dependent child test established by the IRS, which includes
  • Age
  • Support
  • Residency
  • Joint Return
  • Relationship
A dependent claim adds an exemption that slices your gross earnings into a lower level of taxable income.

Child Tax Credit
One of the easiest tax credits is this $1,000 deduction for any dependent child you have under the age of 17. With three or more kids, you might be able to reduce your entire tax bill and even claim a refund.

Flexible Spending Accounts
Both single and coupled parents can take advantage of flexible spending accounts, if available with their employer. With this account, you can save a pre-tax amount of $5,000 to cover child care expenses.You can also claim the Child and Dependent Care Credit, which deducts directly from your tax bill for paying someone to watch your child while you’re at work.

You can find more information in our informative blog: Summer Tax Tips for Child Care

Earned Income Tax Credit
This particular deduction can help with a great variety of child expenses. Back in 1975, it was made for low-income workers to compensate Social Security taxes taken from their paychecks. Because it directly subtracts from your tax bill, the more credit you receive - the more you can claim a possible refund.

Remember to discuss your unique tax situation with a tax professional before attempting these general deductions - everyone is different. And don’t forget to visit us here at ExpressExtension.com to e-file IRS Form 4868 and automatically get six extra months to file your personal tax return.

Your friendly, U.S. -based e-file experts are here in Rock Hill, South Carolina for any questions or assistance needed with the e-filing process. We’re excited to hear from you at 803.514.5155, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. You can also reach us through “the Net” with support@ExpressExtension.com - our 24/7 email service.



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