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      IRS Reminds Georgians of Oct. 17 Tax Deadline

      The Internal Revenue Service today reminded the estimated 275,000 Georgians who requested a six-month filing extension in April that the deadline to file their 2010 federal tax returns is Monday, Oct. 17.

      "We hope individuals and small businesses will double check their returns for recently expanded tax benefits, like the new Small Business Health Care Tax Credit," said IRS spokesman Mark Green.

      New for 2010, the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit is designed to encourage small employers, those with fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees who employ low- and moderate-income workers, to offer health insurance coverage for the first time or maintain coverage they already have.

      Green reminded filers that IRS e-file and Free File are available only through Oct. 17 for those filing their 2010 returns.

      "More than 3.5 million Georgians have used IRS e-file so far this year, an increase of 12.90 percent over this time last year," Green said.

      Most taxpayers qualify for e-file regardless of whether they prepare their returns themselves or use a paid preparer and regardless of whether they live in the United States or abroad. In addition, those with incomes at or below $58,000 can file their returns for free using the Free File link on

      Taxpayers who file electronically can also e-pay by authorizing an electronic funds withdrawal or making a credit card payment. The IRS does not charge a fee for processing an electronic funds withdrawal. However, credit-card payments are subject to convenience fees charged by the authorized service providers.

      Paper filers, as well as electronic filers, who cannot pay what they owe may be able to set up a payment agreement with the IRS in a matter of minutes. Check out the Online Payment Agreement section on for more information.

      Some taxpayers may file after Oct. 17 and still avoid penalties for late filing. This includes:

      Members of the military and others serving in Iraq, Afghanistan or other combat zone localities. Typically, taxpayers have until at least 180 days after they leave the combat zone to file their returns and pay any taxes due. For details, see Extensions of Deadlines in Publication 3, Armed Forces Tax Guide.

      Green also reminded individual taxpayers about special tax benefits for 2010, including the Making Work Pay Credit for workers and self-employed individuals, the American Opportunity Credit and other higher education tax benefits for parents and students, residential energy credits for various energy-saving home improvements, the Earned Income Tax Credit for low- and moderate-income workers and working families, and the Child Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit for low- and middle-income families.

      Taxpayers can visit , the official IRS website, for details.