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k your return for accuracy, use the free IRS resources if you need tax help, consider electronic options for filing and paying, and don't miss Thursday's filing deadline.

The IRS expects to receive about 30 million returns during the rest of the month, and another 10 million throughout the remainder of the year.

Taxpayers should check their math on all computations, especially subtractions, and should be sure to get the correct tax amount from the tax table. The other numbers to be most careful about are the identification numbers - usually Social Security numbers - for each person listed on the return. Be sure to sign the tax return; both husband and wife must sign a joint return, even if only one had income.

The IRS toll-free help line for individuals - 1-800-829-1040 ? is available from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. weekdays and until midnight on April 14 and 15. All hours are local time, except for Alaska and Hawaii, which should reference Pacific Time. Some IRS offices will have extended hours on April 15. has local office schedules, plus interactive tax aids, forms and publications for downloading and links to various companies offering free electronic filing through this year's Free File initiative. Many public libraries have basic tax forms available, along with reference copies of IRS publications.

Taxpayers sending a check or money order should make it payable to "United
States Treasury" and include their identification number, usually their
Social Security number, and the year and type of form filed - for example,
"2003 Form 1040." Joint filers should use the identification number of the first spouse listed on the return. Payments should not be stapled to the tax return.

Taxpayers may file and pay on time electronically until midnight of the deadline day. E-filers may pay by authorizing a no-fee electronic funds withdrawal from a checking or savings account.

Those who cannot complete their returns on time may request an automatic extension to August 15. Form 4868 has details, including various options for getting an extension by filing or paying electronically. There is also a special toll-free number for requesting an extension by phone ? call 1-888-796-1074 (8:30am - 4:30pm local time, except Hawaii and Alaska use Pacific Time.)

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