That refund will take longer in 2011 - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

That refund will take longer in 2011

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -   Some taxpayers expecting a refund from their federal income tax this year will have to wait longer than usual.

Once congress decided to extend tax cuts, the IRS announced that tax returns that require itemized deductions would not be processed until mid-February, which meant some people had to wait longer to file.

One of the first things people do when they get their tax refund is head to a car lot and put a down payment on a car, but this year some people had to wait to file, which means they will get their refunds later than normal, but some car dealers say it's actually good for business.

As you drive down Oglethorpe Boulevard car dealerships and billboards advertising tax services line the road, and Mark Glow says it's no coincidence.

He's the owner of Autoland and says the first of the year, is normally huge for the dealership.

"The first second week of January we just start getting flooded with people with tax refunds wanting to put down payments on cars," Mark Glow said.

But this year it's different. "We didn't see hardly any tax refunds the first three weeks of January."

That's because some taxpayers expecting a refund from their federal income have to wait longer than usual. It's because of the delay in passing an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts.

"When you have a change that occurs in the law that late it just delays everything," Glow said.

The IRS needed more time to revise tax forms and instructions which meant a delay in processing returns.

Generally, three groups of taxpayers have a delay in their ability to file their tax returns. Those groups take certain itemized deductions, educators expenses and also the higher education tuition deduction. The majority of taxpayers are not affected by the delay, but those who are could not start filing until yesterday, which means delayed refunds.

But is patience worth it when it comes to waiting for the extra money? Certified Public Accountant John McDuffie says it is. "I would discourage anyone from getting a tax anticipation loan."

He says the fees can be high. "The cost associated with that loan far outweighs the benefit of having that money just a couple weeks earlier," McDuffie says.

Glow says he's noticed more pre-shoppers this year, and says the refund delays can actually be good for a car dealership

"The fact that its going to be spread out, actually helps a car dealer in keeping inventory stocked,"

Once you file, you should get your refund in two to three weeks. 

The IRS recommends e-filing your return. That way you can check the status of your refund online.

This year you have until April 18th to file because of Emancipation day. Taxpayers requesting an extension have until October 17th.

 

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