From IRA distribution to tax credits, WalletPop experts answer your questions

It's 91 days before April 15 -- time to get your house in order. Our experts are here to tackle your issues, from IRA distribution to property and school tax credits.

Question:
Our home was destroyed by a fire in 2004, and my wife was inside the house and developed chronic bronchitis from smoke inhalation. We built a new home on the same property, but the new home seems to be contaminated. Eventually, my wife had to move out to get away from the irritant.

I began looking for a condominium and found one in late November 2009. I did not have time to start a mortgage application, so I took money out of a traditional IRA with the intention of rolling over that amount within 60 days. In order to get the money to put back in to an IRA, I started refinancing on our house in late December. This took some time, and it was not sufficient to cover the amount I needed.

I had some favorable rates on credit card balance transfers and proceeded to send three balance transfers to my chosen IRA holder.

To complicate matters further, my wife's purse was stolen prior to my issuing the transfers and an identity theft protection service was put into effect. This resulted in the credit card companies holding the balance transfers until they could confirm with us that the transaction was properly authorized.

I calculate that it was 63 days until the deposits were credited. Is there any means to get an extension from the IRS that would allow the deposits to qualify as a rollover?

If not, is there any way to reduce the tax burden on the amount I will have to enter into Gross Income, such as averaging over future years? I must file an estimated tax payment by January 15 in order to avoid penalties when I finish my return. Do the medical problems and theft help with the decision from the IRS?

--Ronald T. Clasmer, 62, Oklahoma City

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