Tax-filing deadline approaching

JONESBORO — The April 15 income tax filing deadline is just a week away.

And officials are reminding taxpayers who have yet to file that they can avoid stiff penalties by e-filing or requesting an extension before the deadline.

IRS spokesman Mark Green is offering tax tips for those still working on their tax returns.

He encourages taxpayers to file electronically to help expedite the process. He said paperless filing offers faster refunds and more accurate returns.

“We see a dramatic reduction in the number of errors with tax returns that are filed electronically,” he said.

Georgians are e-filing in record numbers this year, said Green, noting the IRS so far has received more than 2.7 million of the 3.7 million expected E-File returns from Georgia taxpayers.

Taxpayers can e-file through a tax preparer, personal computer and tax preparation software. The IRS Free File program is also available to those with an annual gross income of $58,000 or less.

Those who have not finished filing this year’s income taxes, can get an automatic six-month extension. The fastest way to get the extra time is by filling out Form 4868 through the Free File link at www.IRS.gov.

Some may be eligible for refunds and do not realize it.

Green said about 23,000 Georgians who have not filed a tax return for 2010 are missing out on more than $28 million in unclaimed refunds, half of them worth more than $539 each.

He said those taxpayers must file their 2010 tax returns no later than April 15 in order to collect the refunds.

E-filers who owe can set an automatic payment for April 15, at the time they file. Green said assistance is available to set up payment plans as well as.