About 1 million procrastinating Ohioans were expected to file their 2013 personal income tax returns on Monday and today to beat the traditional April 15 Tax Day deadline.
Gary Gudmundson, communications director for the Ohio Department of Taxation, said 3.7 million state returns had been filed as of April 4.
“We usually have about 5.3 million filers,” Gudmundson said. He said it was pretty typical for there to be about a million people waiting until the last minute.
Many of those buzzer-beating returns will be filed electronically, which is how 92 percent of Ohioans now do their taxes — either on their own or through tax professionals.
The IRS reported more than 90 million E-filing reciepts as of April 4 this year, up nearly 2 percent over last year.
The number of people getting direct deposit refunds was also up, with more than $190 billion in refunded money paid out electronically so far this year. The average refund for those using E-filing and direct deposit was $2,923.
In Springfield on Monday, dozens of people waited in a line that snaked around the lobby of City Hall trying to file their local tax returns before the deadline.
When Stephanie Dasilva got to the front of the line just before 1 p.m., she said she’d been waiting about an hour and a half.
“There’s been people who came in (saw the line) and just left,” Dasilva said. City Hall staffers said the line had been consistently long all day.
Asked why she waited until April 14 to her return filed, Dasilva gave the same answer as most in the line, “I just forgot.”
This year, Tax Day falls one day after Ohio’s Tax Freedom Day. That’s the name given to the day on which Ohioians have worked enough hours to cover their federal, state and local tax burden for the year.
According to non-partisan research group The Tax Foundation, this year Americans will pay $3 trillion in federal taxes and $1.5 trillion in state and local taxes, for a total bill of more than $4.5 trillion, or 30.2 percent of the nation’s income.
The Ohio Department of Taxation has extended hours for their personal income tax help line. Agents are available to answer questions from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. today at 1-800-282-1780. More resources for tax help can be found at http://www.tax.ohio.gov.
Those wishing to get a federal filing extension can apply through midnight tonight.
Need a treat after beating the deadline? Arby’s restaurants are once again offering free curly fries on tax day. Get the coupon at: http://coupon.arbys.com/taxday/. Also, participating McDonald’s restaurants will offer a Tax Relief Day deal as well. Purchase a Big Mac or Quarter Pounder with Cheese and receive a second sandwich for $0.15.
The Springfield News-Sun is committed to reporting how local, state and federal government agencies are spending your tax dollars. I-Team reporter Katie Wedell is dedicated to covering goverment spending in Clark and Champaign counties. If you have a tip about government waste or fraud, contact her at (937) 328-0353 or call the I-Team tipline at (937) 225-2251.
Tips for last-minute filing from the Ohio Department of Taxation:
When filing electronically:
- Double-check key information such as social security numbers and bank account numbers for direct deposits.
- Make sure you fully complete the return and get a confirmation number or other acknowledgement of completion from your software program.
When filing by paper:
- Think about filing electronically. There is nothing to mail, no lines at the post office and faster processing of your return and refund.
- Include W-2’s, Tax Schedules and any supporting information to validate the tax return line entries. This helps to avoid any delays in processing.
For both filing methods:
- If you are filing a school district return, double check the amount you are claiming for withholding. Thousands of people are reporting their local tax instead of their school district, or are adding both together. This causes a delay in processing and a change in the expected refund. It can even result in a billing instead of the anticipated refund.