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I was recently told by a financial planner that, as a Seattle resident, I can extend my tax filing deadline until April 30th by simply writing the words "Federal Disaster Earthquake" in red across the top of my return. Is this true? And if so, Would this also automatically extend the Roth IRA contribution deadline?

I checked the website for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and found information that differs only slightly in detail: see -- they say you need to write "WASHINGTON STATE EARTHQUAKE" in red letters across the top of your form.

And quoting from the article:

However, the extension doesn't cover every tax payment.

For example, taxpayers must make contributions to individual retirement accounts by April 16 if they want those payments to count in the 2000 tax year, the IRS said.

On the other hand, taxpayers can make 2000 contributions to simplified employee pensions or Keogh plans until April 30, according to the agency.

Tax collectors are also urging electronic filers -- those using computers and other electronic devices to handle their taxes -- to file by April 16. That's because those returns can't be marked with a red earthquake notice.


The Washington counties covered by the extension are King, Snohomish, Pierce, Thurston, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Grays Harbor, Cowlitz, Island, Jefferson, Pacific, Skagit, Skamania, Wahkiakum, Benton, Clallam, Clark, Whatcom and Yakima.

Hope that helps,
Phooley in Phoenix
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