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IRS urging taxpayers to check withholding amount

By Johnny Jackson

jjackson@henryherald.com

Officials with the Internal Revenue Service are reminding Georgians, as the job market continues to change, to check their 2009 federal income tax withholding amount.

"We just want to remind taxpayers to make adjustments so that at the end of [the year] they won't owe money - to make sure they do not face any surprises when returns are due next spring," said IRS Spokesman Mark Green.

Green said this year's "Making Work Pay Tax Credit" has lowered tax withholding rates for 120 million American households, a result of changes made to the federal income tax withholding tables.

The IRS web site states most wage earners will benefit from the tax credit with a larger paycheck based on the revised withholding tables.

"If you're not eligible for the 'making work pay' tax credit, withholding changes could mean a smaller refund next spring," Green said. "A limited number of people, including those who usually receive very small refunds, could in some situations, owe a small amount rather than receiving a refund. Failure to adjust your withholding now could cause you to owe tax or to get a smaller refund next year."

The IRS reports the average refund amount, so far in 2009, is $2,675 with about 79 percent of all returns receiving a refund.

Green added that several groups of taxpayers should be especially mindful of their withholding, including married couples with two incomes, individuals with multiple jobs, pensioners, workers who can be claimed as dependents by other taxpayers, and some Social Security recipients who work.

He said the tax credit - normally a maximum of $400 for working individuals and $800 for working married couples - is reduced by the amount of economic recovery payments individuals or couples receive.

He said Social Security beneficiaries, supplemental security income recipients, disabled veterans and railroad retirees who received this year's one-time $250 economic recovery payment should be aware the tax credit will be reduced by the $250 payment amount.

"If you are affected by this reduction, you should review your withholding to ensure that sufficient funds have been withheld to meet your tax obligation," Green said. "The withholding calculator at the IRS web site is really handy."

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On the net:

Internal Revenue Service: www.irs.gov