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IRS reminds Georgians of Oct. 17 tax deadline

The Internal Revenue Service is reminding the estimated 275,000 Georgians, who requested a six-month filing extension in April, that the deadline to file their 2010 federal tax returns is Monday, Oct. 17.

“We hope individuals and small businesses will double check their returns for recently expanded tax benefits, like the new Small Business Health Care Tax Credit,” said IRS Spokesman Mark Green.

While some taxpayers may file after the deadline, and still avoid penalties for late filing — including members of the military and others serving in Iraq, Afghanistan or other combat- zone localities — Green reminds filers that IRS e-file and Free File are available only through Oct. 17, for those filing their 2010 returns.

“More than 3.5 million Georgians have used IRS e-file so far this year, an increase of 12.9 percent over this time last year,” he said.

Green said taxpayers with incomes at, or below, $58,000 can file their returns for free using the Free File link at the IRS web site.

He said those who file electronically can also e-pay by authorizing an electronic funds withdrawal or making a credit card payment. He noted that the IRS does not charge a fee for processing an electronic funds withdrawal. However, credit-card payments are subject to convenience fees charged by the authorized service providers.

Green added that most taxpayers qualify for e-file regardless of whether they prepare their returns themselves or use a paid preparer. Those living in the United States or abroad also qualify.

For service members abroad, he explained, filing taxes typically is not required until at least 180 days after they leave a combat zone.

Paper filers and electronic filers alike, who cannot pay what they owe, may be able to set up a payment agreement with the IRS, and can learn more about payment plans by visiting the IRS web site.

The spokesman also reminds taxpayers about special tax benefits for 2010, including: the Making Work Pay Credit for workers and self-employed individuals; the American Opportunity Credit; higher-education tax benefits for parents and students; residential energy credits for energy-saving home improvements; the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-and moderate-income workers and working families, and the Child Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit for low-and middle-income families.

Additionally, this year, small businesses must keep in mind the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, designed to encourage employers (those with fewer than 25 full-time employees, who employ low-and moderate-income workers) to offer health insurance coverage for the first time, or maintain coverage they already have.

To learn more, visit the IRS web site at www.IRS.gov.