WHEELING - For all you procrastinators out there, let the mad dash begin - income tax day is here.
For those who owe money, at least partial payment of your estimated tax liability must be submitted online or postmarked by today to avoid potential interest or penalties, even if you've completed the proper paperwork seeking an extension to file a full return.
Though the traditional filing deadline is April 15, Americans this year got an extra weekend to dawdle thanks to a calendar quirk and a holiday - Emancipation Day - that's a holiday for about 600,000 of the nation's 309 million citizens. That District of Columbia observance, which commemorates the signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act by President Abraham Lincoln on April 16, 1862, freeing more than 3,000 slaves in the district, was moved to Friday, April 15, this year because it fell on a Saturday.
Don't panic if you're among the multitudes that have left to file. Most forms and publications you'll need are available at area libraries and post offices or downloadable in PDF form at www.irs.gov.
You can also use the IRS website to file your return. More than 99 million returns were filed electronically in 2010, and the growing number of people using the Internet to file prompted the IRS this year to discontinue mailing tax forms.
And from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, and again from 5-8 p.m., income-eligible taxpayers can have their returns prepared free of charge at the Ohio County Public Library, which is a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site. The program is sponsored by Change Inc. Call 304-232-8985 for more information. While tax preparers are trained to help you get every penny back that you can, don't forget to look out for potential tax credits if you're filing yourself. Those credits include:
For more information on available tax credits or other questions, visit www.irs.gov or call the agency's Wheeling office at 304-232-8931 between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and 1:30-4:30 p.m.