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Published: Saturday, 4/16/2011 - Updated: 3 years ago

Tax day urgency put on hold

BY JON CHAVEZ
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER
H&R Block officer manager Brenda Blum said she expects a surge of people filing on Monday. H&R Block officer manager Brenda Blum said she expects a surge of people filing on Monday.
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The federal income tax deadline normally would have been Friday ,but this year was delayed until Monday. And there was no visible sign of urgency in the Toledo area on Friday to get the returns done.

We’ve been steady, but not what I would call swamped,” said Brenda Blum, manager of H&R Block’s district tax office on Secor Road in West Toledo. “I think people realize that Monday is the last day. I believe we’ll see a surge then.”

Nearly 5.4 million Ohioans will be filing 2010 income tax returns this tax season, and as of April 8 about 3.9 million already had done so, said Jennifer Jenkins, an Internal Revenue Service spokesman in Columbus.

As of Thursday, nearly 3.8 million Ohioans had filed their tax returns electronically, Ms. Jenkins said. About 2.3 million had their tax returns prepared by a paid professional, while 1.5 million prepared and filed their own return.

Friday, Toledo resident Georgia Tyson was just trying to get the IRS to take a first look at her 2010 tax form. She arrived at the agency’s downtown Toledo office at 1 p.m. with her tax data, hoping to get help doing her taxes.

But after mistakenly going to two wrong locations before she found the IRS office, she learned she had arrived too late to get free help.

She resigned herself to returning early Monday and chided herself slightly for waiting until just before the deadline. “I knew it was coming up Monday, but it’s been difficult getting all my papers and gathering up my forms,” she said.

Traditionally, April 15 is the day taxes are due, but because of a quirk in the law the date was pushed back to Monday at midnight. Saturday is Emancipation Day, a holiday observed in the District of Columbia. The district moved the commemoration of it to Friday, shutting down public offices. Federal law provides that tax-filing day must be moved to the next business day if it conflicts with a Washington holiday. And the IRS offices there were closed on Friday.

Nationally, through April 8 there had been 98.6 million tax returns filed, compared with 98.8 million through the same period a year ago, a decrease of 0.2 percent. Of those that have been filed, 83.6 million were electronically filed.

Of those Ohioans who prepared their own taxes, 122,000 did so using free software provided by tax software companies through a partnership with the IRS.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or at 419-724-6128.



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