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6/30/2015

Military Personnel Extensions


There are numerous associations with the Fourth of July holiday… fireworks, cookouts, a day off from work, store sales. It may be hard to remember, but history textbooks, and Wikipedia, informs that our nation declared its independence from Great Britain by adopting the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. This declaration came about during the American Revolutionary War in which American troops were engaged in armed conflict with Great Britain.

In remembrance of those soldiers who gave their all to gain our freedom, and in recognition of the soldiers who give their all today to protect those freedoms, ExpressExtension commemorates filing extensions for military personnel stationed abroad or in a combat zone.

During tax season, if you’re in the military and are located abroad or in a combat zone, you may qualify for certain automatic extensions that relate to the filing and paying of your federal taxes.

Extensions
If you’re on duty, either with the military or naval services, and you’re stationed outside of the United States and Puerto Rico during the deadline of your income tax return, you automatically have a 2-month extension to June 15 in order to file your tax return. In addition, you can file a Form 4868, Application For Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Tax Return, by June 15 for another 4-month extension to October 15; that gives you a total of six extra months to file. Be sure you select the “Out of the Country” option on the form.

Your 2-month extension or additional 4-month extension is only good the time you have to file your return. If you have any taxes that you owe to the IRS, then you must pay by the original April 15 deadline. If you’re unable to pay in full at the time, the IRS offers payment plans that you may be eligible for. The penalty for Failure-to-Pay is less severe than Failure-to-File, so file on time and pay little by little if you have to.

Let’s say that you’re serving in a contingency operation or a combat zone, or you’re hospitalized because of an injury in either situation, the IRS can extend your deadlines for filing tax returns, paying taxes, filing claims for refund, and any other tax-related actions by 180 days after you leave the zone or operation. You must notify the IRS directly of your request for combat zone relief extensions of deadlines through the following e-mail address: combatzone@irs.gov.

Resources
The IRS has the following resources in place to help you make accurate and informed decisions regarding your taxes:
We, at ExpressExtension, salute and recognize our American troops from the past and present who continue to fight and protect our freedoms for future generations. We wish everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July!

For assistance with e-filing our available personal tax extension, contact our live professionals located at Rock Hill, South Carolina at (803) 514-5155 (Monday - Friday, 9am - 6pm, EST), or email us at support@expressextension.com or live chat with us at www.expressextension.com.


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6/25/2015

Extension for Puerto Rico Residents




*admiring sigh* The festive city of San Juan with its vibrant neighborhood, El Viejo San Juan. The cooling waters at Luquillo or Carolina Beach… The surfing and sunsets of Rincon’s leisurely beach and Mosquito Bay’s neon, electric blue water - there’s truly no place like Puerto Rico. With Summer now in full swing, Puerto Rico is like the definitive location for fun in the sun. Clear skies, clear waters, and...taxes? Well, if you can remember all the way back to grade school Geography, Puerto Rico is United States territory. And, as such, taxes have to be paid as if in the continental U.S.

For residents of this summertime paradise, a Form 1040PR or the English Form 1040-SS must be filed.

“Why do I have to file?”
You have to file because the form is a statement of…
  • The net income from self-employment to the federal government of the U.S.
  • The payment of tax on income from self-employment.
Your information from these forms are used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in order to calculate your benefits from the Social Security program. The tax on income from self-employment may be entitled, regardless of age or if you already receive Social Security or Medicare.

“Am I even qualified to file?”
Well, you have to file anyway if you are
  • A resident of Puerto Rico
  • Not required to file a regular Form 1040
  • Receiving net earnings from self-employment of $400 or more, or $108.28 or more as a church employee
That last qualification also goes for couples who are filing jointly. You may also be required to file a tax return on personal income to the Government of Puerto Rico. For more information, contact your local Department of Finance of Puerto Rico.

Extension to file your return.
The deadline for filing either one of these forms is April 15; however, you can request an extension if you need more time to file. This automatic extension pushes your original deadline by six months to October 15, but it does not change the deadline to pay back taxes you may owe. You have to pay any taxes owed by your original deadline.

You don’t want to file late. Generally, the penalty is 5% of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of month it is late, up to 25% of your unpaid tax. If the return is more than 60 days late, the minimum penalty is $135 or 100% of the unpaid tax, whichever is smaller. This penalty is generally more than the failure-to-pay penalty, so if you need more time, file the extension.

Get back to the summertime paradise of Puerto Rico by e-filing your extension with ExpressExtension. We offer a fast and secure service that will save you time and money. You can even e-file your extension while enjoying the Puerto Rico sights by downloading our Express 4868 app FREE for iOS and Android devices.

For any assistance or questions about e-filing any of our available extension, our live professionals are standing by. Contact us by phone Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm, Eastern Standard Time, at (803) 514-5155, by email at support@expressextension.com, or by live chat at www.expressextension.com.


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6/23/2015

Extension for Nonresident Foreigner Returns




Welcome to America!
Land of the free... enterprise, that is, home of the Whopper, and place of the taxed? Alright, that last part might not be too appealing; nonetheless, taxes are a part of good, old-fashioned American living. And that fact applies to everyone… *sternly* Everyone. From the home-bred citizen to the nonresident foreigner and everything in between, we all have to pay those taxes.

For nonresident foreigners, there is the Form 1040NR, U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return, or the Form 1040NR-EZ, U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Nonresident Aliens With No Dependents, that must be filed.

Who must file?
Well, according to the IRS, a foreigner is any individual who is not a U.S. citizen or a U.S. national. A nonresident foreigner is one who has not passed the green card test or the substantial presence test.

You must file with this form if you fall into any of the following categories:
  • A nonresident foreigner working or being considered to work in a trade or business in the United States during the year.
  • A nonresident foreigner who is not working in a trade or business in the United States, but has U.S. income on which the tax liability was not satisfied by the withholding of tax at the source.
  • A representative or agent responsible for filing the return of a nonresident foreign described in the first and second categories.
  • A guardian for a nonresident foreigner estate or trust.
  • A resident or domestic guardian, or other person, charged with the care of the person or property of a nonresident foreigner (if applicable).
A significant category would be if you were a nonresident, foreign student, teacher, or trainee who is temporarily present in the U.S. with the appropriate visa and you have taxable income like wages, tips, scholarship and fellowship grants, dividends, etc.

Claiming a refund or benefit
In addition, you must also file an income tax return if you want to:
  • Claim a refund of overpaid tax or overwithheld tax
  • Claim the benefit of any deductions or credits
An example would be if you don’t have a job, but have income from real property that you want to treat as connected income. You’ll have to file a return to take any allowable deductions against that income.

Extending your return
Your Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ must be filed by April 15 each year. If you find yourself not able to file on time, you can file an extension, Form 4868 Personal Tax Extension, which would also be due on April 15.

By filing an extension, your deadline will be pushed back six months to October 15. The extension only extends your deadline to file, not your deadline to pay any taxes you may owe. You’ll have to properly estimate your tax liability and pay it by the original deadline of your return.

For more information on paying your estimated taxes, check out these other blogs:
Embrace the American way by e-filing your extension with ExpressExtension. We offer a safe, secure, and accurate e-filing process that will save you time and money, backed by a team of expert professionals ready to assist at any step of the way. We also offer the option for you to pay your estimated taxes while e-filing your tax extension. Payment is done through Electronic Fund Withdrawals (EFW) using either your checking or savings account.

Strive to become an All-American by e-filing quick and easy using our Form 4868 app. Download the Express 4868 app FREE for both iOS and Android devices.

For assistance with e-filing your extension, contact our live professionals from our Rock Hill, South Carolina office. We are available by phone (803-514-5155, Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm EST), email (support@expressextension.com), or live chat (www.expressextension.com)


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6/19/2015

Filing A Tax Extension 101


Alright class, listen up and let’s pay attention! There have been many of you requesting a quick review session before the tax season. This review will give you extra time to gather everything needed to file without losing your mind. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a review, but there will NOT BE ANOTHER! Maybe…

In any case, open your notebooks and be prepared to write these notes down because I won’t repeat myself… I repeat, I won’t repeat myself. *awkward silence*
Raise your hand, ask your question, and get your answer. Simple, right?

Who’s first?
Yes?

“How do I file a tax extension?”
Depending on what tax return you are filing, there are various tax extension forms available to you.
You file whichever extension applies to you by due date of your return along with paying any estimated taxes due.

Quick Note: When filing an extension, you will be asked about your expected tax liability. You can guess the amount due, but please, be the students that the academy will be proud of and come up with a reasonable amount. At the very least, it’s common to base your amount on what you owed last year.

Check out these extra credit readings about expected tax liabilities:
Who’s next?

“What about extending my state income tax return?”
If you are filing in a state that has an income tax, as most do, it’s possible to find the tax extension form for your state from the state tax authority website.

Yes?

“When will my tax return be due if I extend?”
Just as there are different tax extension forms, there are different extended deadlines for each one.
  • Exempt Organizations Extension Form 8868 - Your original deadline of May 15 gets extended by three months to August 15. Even then, you can apply for an additional three months and have your deadline pushed back until November 15.
Quick Note: May 15 is the deadline if your tax-exempt organization operates on a Calendar Tax Year. If it operates on a Fiscal Tax Year, your deadline is the 15th day of the 5th month after your tax end date.

To apply for an additional three month extension, you have to fill out Part II of Form 8868. Refer to the following to improve your Form 8868 studies: Extension Form 8868 - Part I & II
  • Personal Tax Extension Form 4868 - Your original deadline of April 15 gets extended by six months to October 15.
  • Business Tax Extension Form 7004 - Your original deadline of March 16 also gets extended by six months to September 16.
Quick Note: Certain partnerships, trusts, and estates are only able to apply for a five month tax extension depending on which tax form they would be filing for their return. In such a case, the extension will be to August 16.

Anyone else?

“Do I have to pay my taxes now?”
Yes. Yes. Yes. A million times, YES! If you understand only one piece of information from this session, understand this:
Filing an extension only allows an extension of time to file, not an extension of time to pay your taxes.

You have to pay your taxes, which would be an estimate, by the original deadline or face penalties by the IRS. Each time you remember this is like placing a shiny, fresh apple on the teacher’s desk; there will be so much joy and happiness. The IRS also offers payment plans, which you could qualify for.

Okay, last one...
Yes?

“Is filing an extension a red flag to the IRS?”
Not at all. Extensions are fairly common and the IRS probably expects extensions more than everyone filing on time.


So, be a golden student and e-file your extension forms with ExpressExtension. As an authorized IRS e-file provider, ExpressExtension supports a safe, secure, and accurate e-filing process with the most experienced technical and help teams in the industry.

Better yet, become the A+ high achiever you know you are by e-filing using the ExpressExtension mobile site or by downloading the FREE mobile app for iOS and Android devices.


Live professionals are available at our Rock Hill, South Carolina office. Feel free to contact live professionals at (803) 514-5155, Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm EST. You can also either e-mail us at support@expressextensions.com or chat with us at www.expressextensions.com for any further assistance e-filing your extension forms.


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6/16/2015

Score Big With ExpressExtension




The NBA Finals are well underway this year. Two of the greatest teams this season, one each from the East and West conferences, square off in the most unforgettable of series to determine the national champion. Determination, sweat, and skill are what champions are made of and you too can become a champion this tax season by filing an extension with the following guidelines.

1st Quarter: File an Extension if you’re Currently Under Audit
By filing an extension while being audited, the IRS won’t be able to include the current year in their audit. That’ll start your championship series in your favor because the results of an audit may affect your current year filings.

You may have Net Operating Losses (NOL), capital losses, or any other operating expenses that could carry over and be applied to your current tax year. If the audit changes any of those numbers, it may be best to wait in order to determine the proper amounts that carry over.
In other words, keep the ball in your team’s possession until you can take the shot.

2nd Quarter: File an Extension if you Don’t Have All the Information
The primary reason most people file an extension is because they haven’t received all the information needed in order to successfully file a proper return. You don’t want to file a return with incomplete or incorrect information.

The IRS will consider such a return as late and you could be subject to fines and other penalties. It’ll be best to file an extension, get everything in order, and then file a proper return rather than jumping the gun. After all, you have to know your lineup before you make your play. Making a move on the court with the wrong information can lead to a foul; you don’t want to “foul” your “file,” get it?

Halftime


Filing an extension only extends the time for filing a tax return. It does not extend the time you have to pay your taxes. You have to reasonably estimate the tax you owe and pay it by the original due date of your tax return. If not, you could incur penalties and interest rates. Even if you can’t pay the total amount on time, the penalties are less severe for failing to PAY on time rather than failing to FILE on time. Now, back to the game.

3rd Quarter: File an Extension just for Extra Time
This is probably the most obvious reason for filing an extension… just to get extra time to file your return. Your reasons may or may not be the same as the ones already discussed, but guess what? It really doesn’t matter to the IRS. The best part of filing an extension is that there’s no explanation needed as to why you need the extension. Anything can happen at anytime and that’s understandable. Ever notice how easily a game can shift in overtime?

4th Quarter: File an Extension for a Pending Status
If you requested a private letter about a ruling on a particular tax position or your current tax status, then you should consider extending your return date in anticipation of the answer from the IRS. Much like referees reviewing the last play, their ruling may just play in your favor.


Become an All-Star MVP by e-filing your tax extensions with ExpressExtensions. We offer extension forms for business tax, personal tax, and tax-exempt organizations. Download our FREE app to e-file your personal or business tax extension from any iOS or Android tablet. Or visit the mobile site to e-file your exempt organization extension from any smartphone mobile device. Either way you choose to e-file will keep your tax standing as shiny as a championship trophy.


For more assistance in e-filing a tax extension, contact our live professionals from our Rock Hill, South Carolina office. We’re available by phone Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm EST at (803) 514-5155. You can also get in touch with email at support@expressextension.com or live chat at www.expressextension.com.


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6/11/2015

Strive For Perfection With ExpressExtension

You find out that the IRS rejected your e-file request for a tax extension, that’s too bad. And, to make matters worse, you receive this rejection notice after the deadline for e-filing an extension. Now you’re stressing about what your next move is going to be.
No matter what, whatever you do is going to be counted as late, right?

Stop that. Take a deep breath and ask yourself, “When have the good people at ExpressExtension ever let me down?”

Exactly.

So, the IRS has this thing called a Perfection Period. You can think of it as a kind of grace period for rejected returns or extensions.

“What is a Perfection Period?”
The IRS defines it as a “look back” period that’s determined once a return or an extension is accepted. Depending on which form you e-filed, the IRS looks back ten days from the electronic postmark to see if there have been any rejections for the same Employer Identification Number (EIN) and tax period.

If they find one or more rejections within that 10-day period, the IRS will use the date of the earliest rejection as the official acceptance date of your e-file.

“OK. But what does that mean?”
It means that even if you resubmit your extension after the original due date, as long as it’s within ten days of when you first received the rejection, then your e-file won’t be counted as late. The IRS will mark it as being received on the same day they rejected you.

Things to Consider About your Perfection Period
The most important thing to consider is that a Perfection Period varies with different extension forms. For Exempt Organization Extension Form 8868 and Business Tax Extension Form 7004, the period lasts only five days. Other things to consider
  • You must retransmit the corrected return within the Perfection Period.
  • You can retransmit more than once during the Perfection Period.
  • Any retransmission after the end of the Perfection Period results in a late filing
  • The Perfection Period can never be extended regardless of weekends, holidays, or end of year cutoffs
In any situation, rejection doesn’t feel good. But all you can really do is get up, dust yourself off, and try it again. With ExpressExtension, you can e-file your Form 8868, 7004, & 4868 and, if rejected, you can correct and resubmit through us for FREE.

For any questions or assistance with e-filing your tax extension, you can call our live professionals by phone (803-514-5155, Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm EST), email (support@expressextension.com), or live chat (www.expressextension.com).


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6/09/2015

Calculating Estimated Taxes

When e-filing your tax extension, eventually you’re going to come across the Tentative Tax & Payment section where it asks about your estimated taxes. You’re probably scratching your head like, “What in the world… estimated taxes?” Exactly. And much like the World, with careful navigation, you can make your way through figuring out your estimated taxes just like how the early settlers figured out their way through uncharted lands, or something similar to that. Exciting, right?

Information You’ll Need:
Like any good explorer, you have to be prepared; there’s no reason to just wander around needlessly. According to the IRS, you have the following resources available to you:
  • Estimated Tax Worksheet for the current year
  • Instructions for Estimated Tax Worksheet for the current year
  • Tax Rate Schedules for the current year
  • Prior tax year return and instructions
These items will serve as your handy-dandy map to figuring out your income, deductions, and credits.

Where To Start:
Generally, the best way to begin is to fill out your tax return until you’ve gotten to where you have missing information. The information missing could be your reason for e-filing an extension in the first place, remember?

You’ll want to make an educated guess on what your missing information will report. This may prove to be choppy waters in your exploration, but make use of your prior tax return if you’re expecting a similar amount of taxes due.

No Man’s Land:
If you have no prior tax return to serve as a reference point, or you just can’t find it, you may be in even more troubling waters. No worries, that’s why pro explorers, such as yourself, carry compasses. And, in this case, that compass is the IRS-Provided Calculator, which can help give you an accurate estimate.

Whether you use your handy-dandy map or compass, you’re going to add together all your sources of income, subtract any itemized or standard deductions you know of, and reduce per person the exemption amounts.

If you owe, or are very close to paying the IRS, it may be best to overestimate rather than to guess short and suffer any penalties or interest. Any over-payment is refunded back to you after your return is finalized, such a fitting end to your prosperous, exploration journey!


After calculating your estimated taxes, paying them can be quick and simple when you e-file with us. ExpressExtension offers the option for you to pay your estimated taxes while also e-filing your tax extension. Payment is done through Electronic Fund Withdrawals (EFW) using either your checking or savings account. For more information on how to pay your estimated taxes with ExpressExtension, check out the following video:
For assistance with e-filing your extension, contact our live professionals from our Rock Hill, South Carolina office. We are available by phone (803-514-5155, Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm EST), email (support@expressextension.com), or live chat (www.expressextension.com)


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6/04/2015

Paying Your Estimated Taxes


You filed an extension for your tax return and it got approved by the IRS, that’s good. You’re probably thinking that with your 3-month or 6-month extension you can take it easy for a few months until it gets closer to your new deadline.

While taking a breather is okay, you’re still not out of the woods yet, my friend.

Your extension may have given you more time to successfully file your tax return, but it doesn’t give you any more time to pay the estimated tax liability you calculated when filing your extension. So, lace up those boots, grab that ax, and make our way to the clearing by paying these taxes.

FACT: For each month or even part of a month your tax return is late, the IRS can charge a penalty of 5% of your unpaid taxes up until you’ve paid 25% of your total unpaid tax. If you happened to be more than 60 days late, you’re looking at paying, at the minimum, $135 or 100% of your total unpaid tax depending on which amount is smaller.

By filing an extension, you dodged this bullet. But the IRS still expects a payment regardless of tax documentation or preparation. Now, your goal is to make an estimated tax payment as soon as possible in order to avoid costly penalties and interest.

“But I can’t pay on time.”

FACT: By filing on time, but not paying on time, the IRS can charge a penalty of just 0.5% of your unpaid tax for each month it’s late.

Just because you think you can’t pay on time doesn’t mean that you shouldn't file at all. But you already knew that, which is why you filed an extension. Anyway, you’ll want to pay what you can; otherwise, the IRS could opt for more drastic measures like garnished wages, court appearances, or even prison time. If that wasn’t enough motivation, even if the IRS owes you money, you won’t get it until your taxes are completed.

FACT: Until your returns are filed, the 3-year Statute of Limitations period for the start of an IRS audit never begins.

You can’t be looked at by the IRS until your taxes have been completed. And, in this case, or any case for that matter, that’s not good at all.
For example, your delayed taxes of 2013 could be the reason of an audit back in 2010. To make matters even worse, you may have to still pay interest and penalties if the IRS finds you owed in 2010.

“Are there any ways to pay?”

With all this talk of penalties and consequences, you probably feel trapped in the thick of the woods. Fear not, the clearing is closer than you may think.

FACT: The IRS offers payment plans including a short term extension to pay and long-term installment plans.

You can set up a monthly repayment plan by submitting a Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request, to the IRS. What makes this form your mightiest of axes is that it allows you to make your own monthly amount and repayment terms.

For owed amounts less than $10,000 and a repayment period of 36 months or less, approval is automatic; debts less than $50,000 can be processed and completed online and, for debts greater than $50,000, additional forms and documentation must be submitted. Visit IRS.gov for further details.

Out of the thicket and into the clear, no matter how you work with the IRS, it’s best to file the right forms and show good faith towards paying your taxes. If you have yet to file an extension for your tax return, ExpressExtension makes e-filing simple and quick. By e-filing with ExpressExtension, you can also pay your estimated tax due at the same time; payment is accepted online by Electronic Funds Withdrawal (EFW) using your checking or savings account information.

For any assistance in e-filing your extension, call, email, or chat with our live professionals.

Phone: (803) 514-5155 (Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm Eastern Standard Time)

Email: support@expressextension.com

Live Chat: www.expressextension.com


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6/02/2015

4 Points For Filing A Personal Tax Extension Form 4868

Isn’t it great to have second chances?
Especially during tax season, when that deadline sneaks up on you and you’re frantically gathering the information needed to file, a second chance with an extension is like a cool, crisp oasis in the middle of a scorching desert.

But time is always a factor. What difference will filing an extra form make? Late is late, right?

Wrong.

There’s no need to add on the extra pressure or heat, in this case. Here are four reasons why the extra breathing room is actually worth your while:

1) More time to file - Well, of course. Keep in mind though that Personal Tax Extension Form 4868 only extends your time needed to file, not your time needed to pay your taxes. Your taxes are still required to be paid by the initial date of April 15, but penalties vary greatly between not filing on time and not paying on time. It generally breaks down like this…

Failure to File on Time: A charge of 5% of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of month your return is late; this can go up to 25% of your unpaid tax. If you’re more than two months late, the minimum penalty can be $135 or 100% of your unpaid tax, whichever is smaller.

Failure to Pay on Time: If you file by the deadline, but can’t pay all your tax on time, the charge is only 0.5% of the unpaid tax each month late.

Even if you can’t pay on time, you’re left with the lesser of two penalties by filing an extension.

2) Have the necessary information already in order - The most common reason to file an extension is because you haven’t received all your documents such as a K-1, W-2, or 1099. You may have to still have gather financial information in order to successfully prepare a return. In this case, an extension will definitely be your buddy.

What you’ll need to simply file an extension is just your name, address, and social security number. If you're married and filing jointly, you'll need the same information for your spouse.

3) Secure your retirement plan - With certain types of retirement plans, such as Simplified Employee Pension, filing a Personal Tax Extension Form 4868 can also extend the time in which employer contributions can be done for the prior year. Self-employed taxpayers can set up the pension plan for the previous year and have up to the extended tax return deadline to make contributions. Talk more with your local financial planner for details.

4) No explanation needed - There could be a million and one reasons as to why you need to file an extension. The funny thing is the IRS really doesn’t care, but it’s not to hurt anyone feelings. Taking the proper steps to file an extension and properly estimate your current tax liability by the initial deadline of your return shows enough compliance on your part. We all know that stuff or life happens.

So, how’s that oasis working out for you? Better than forcing yourself through the rest of the desert. Though you still have to make it, you can now be more prepared. Remember, submitting an incomplete or an inaccurate tax return is just the same as filing late.

An extension works in your best interest. ExpressExtension can quickly and easily e-file your Personal Tax Extension Form 4868. For even more convenience, download our FREE Express 4868 App for iOS and Android devices. And, for further assistance with e-filing, contact our live, expert professionals by phone at (803) 514-5155 (Monday - Friday, 9am - 6pm EST), email at support@expressextension.com, or live chat at www.expressextension.com.


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