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Taxpayers have until Oct. 15 to file extended 2008 tax returns

The Oct. 15 deadline is fast approaching for millions of taxpayers who requested a six-month extension to file their 2008 tax returns.

It's also the deadline for special voluntary disclosures by taxpayers with assets in previously undisclosed offshore financial accounts.

In most cases, Oct. 15, is the last day taxpayers may timely file their 2009 federal tax returns. The IRS expects to receive as many as 10 million tax returns from taxpayers who used Form 4868 (,,id=149197,00.html) to request a six-month extension to file their returns. Some taxpayers, for example, may have requested a filing extension to claim the first-time homebuyer credit for a home purchase that closed after the April 15 deadline.

Some taxpayers can wait until after Oct. 15 to file. This includes those serving in Iraq, Afghanistan or other combat zone localities (,,id=101265,00.html) and people affected by recent natural disasters (,,id=108362,00.html).

The IRS encourages taxpayers to e-file. E-file with direct deposit results in a faster refund than a paper return. Electronic returns also have fewer errors than paper returns.

Oct. 15 is the last day to take advantage of e-file or the Free File program.