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Taxes due on April 18, not 15
E-filing makes process easier
Jimmy Thompson, right, owner of Liberty Tax Services, assists Chris Barber with her tax return Thursday in Gainesville. The deadline to file taxes this year is April 18. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

Tax return reminders

Need an extension? Filing Form 4868 will afford an automatic six-month extension to file a tax return.

Monday is also the deadline for filing a late tax return for 2007. The IRS has $35 million in unclaimed refunds for Georgians who have not filed a 2007 Tax Return.

Individuals living in a home with a household income below $48,362 may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, a government benefit that could result in a refund of up to $5,666. An individual can see if they qualify for the credit on the IRS website.


Americans get a few extra days to file their tax returns this year, but apparently, most people don't need it.

Electronically filed tax returns are pouring in at record levels in Georgia, according to the Internal Revenue Service. More than 2.8 million returns have already been filed in the state. Last year, total returns including those with a six-month extension came in at 3.2 million.

"This has been a fantastic year for individual filers," said Mark Green, an IRS spokesman based in Atlanta. "The (e-filing) numbers are up over 8.7 percent."

Traditionally taxes are due on April 15. The deadline was moved to April 18 because Washington, D.C., celebrates Emancipation Day today, and by law, holidays there affect tax deadlines the same as
federal holidays.

Locally, the Gainesville Community Service Center saw a nearly 50 percent increase in demand for free tax prep services this year. Volunteers served 216 low-income individuals, compared to 146 last year.

The clients on average made substantially less than they did last year, an $18,255 salary down from $21,941 in 2010, according to center director Phillippa Lewis Moss.

Moss said those numbers might explain why the demand for free tax return services increased. People want to keep as much of their return as possible, she said.

"The volunteer income tax services are very much needed in our community, very much valued in our community," Moss said. "I anticipate that over the years, as we try to go through this recession, every period more and more families will be attracted to this program."

The recession might also explain why business at Jimmy Thompson's three local Liberty Tax Service locations is slightly down this year.

"Due to the bad economy, people being on unemployment and all, people are looking for better buys and discounts," he said. "With all the advertisement of free returns from our competitors and on the IRS website, we're seeing people trying to do their own (taxes)."

Americans on hard times are counting on tax returns this year, Green said. And the availability of e-filing is making it easier for people to complete the process, he said.

"With the youth moving into the tax system, they're more adept to filing everything electronically," he said. "...They're taking advantage of the electronic. We definitely encourage everyone to take advantage of electronic filing but our youth are more adept to doing that."


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