DEAR HARRY: I'm in a bind. I prepared my 1040 early, as I usually do to get a refund sooner, but found that I owe Uncle [Sam] a little more than $12,000. I don't have the money, and I want to hold the return until the last minute. The extra tax resulted from a rollover of a regular IRA to a Roth IRA. Today, a friend told me that there was some way I could get the IRS to let me pay in installments. Is this so? How do I go about it?
WHAT HARRY SAYS: The IRS recently eased up on the requirements. Because your liability is less than $25,000, your rules are easier. Be sure you meet the requirements: All prior returns must have been filed and you must be up to date in your payments. Get an "Installment Agreement Request" form from the IRS. Attach it to the front of your return when you file. File at the Philadelphia Service Center, 11601 Roosevelt Blvd. I would suggest that you file on time but close to the deadline. They will give you up to 72 months to pay. Of course, you will get hit with interest and a late-payment penalty of one-quarter to one-half a percentage point. There's also a flat fee that will vary from $43 to $105 depending on the method of payment and the size of your income. If you can pay in full within 120 days, you can get a better deal by calling the IRS at 800-829-1040 without filing the form. Good luck!
Email Harry Gross at harrygrossDN@gmail.com or write to him at the Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia 19107.