Tuesday is the day for Benjamin Franklin's other certainty in life.

April 15 is the deadline to file income tax returns this year, and tax preparers such as H&R Block in Atlantic City are seeing a flurry of customers in the final days.

"You get a lot of people who come rushing in," said T.J. Hines, an Egg Harbor Township resident who is the office manager at the H&R Block on Atlantic Avenue in Atlantic City.

Volume tends to come in waves - the earliest one in early February after workers get their W-2 forms, then later as April 15 approaches, Hines said.

"In between that first wave and now, we get a lot of businesses, stock transactions, those with investment properties who come in," he said.

Hines said a few people were confused this year when the state stopped mailing recipients of New Jersey Unemployment Insurance benefits the tax forms to report unemployment compensation. This year it was accessible online instead.

"I noticed a few of my clients came in and said, 'T.J. I've been waiting for the unemployment paperwork,'" he said.

These form 1099-G statements can be accessed through the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development at www.njuifile.net.Taxpayers can also file for extensions to get additional time to prepare and submit their returns - an extra six months.

The IRS says that while an extension allows for extra time to get paperwork to the IRS, taxpayers don't get more time to pay any taxes that might be due.

For extensions, "If you're sure you owe, you should at least have an estimate on how much you think you'll owe on taxes and send a portion of what you think you might owe," Hines said.

To request an extension, taxpayers can go to www.freefile.irs.gov, or link to it directly from IRS.gov. They can also request an extension through paid tax preparers or using tax-preparation software.

On Thursday, the IRS reported it had received about 100 million tax returns and was expecting another 35 million by Tuesday. An additional 12 million people will have requested extensions by Tuesday, the IRS said.

Through the first week of April, the average refund this year has been $2,792. The IRS has issued more than 78 million refunds, the agency reported.

The average refund is about $37 more than last year.

While Tuesday is the deadline to file tax returns, it is also the deadline for New Jersey residents to claim their share of more than $29 million in unclaimed refunds. Anyone who did not file a federal tax return in 2010 and is owed a refund must file for it or lose it forever.

In New Jersey, the median unclaimed refund from 2010 is $639.

More information about federal income taxes is available at www.irs.gov.

Contact Brian Ianieri:


Individual Income Tax Returns through April 4

2014 2013 Change

Total processed 98.2 million 93.1 million 5%

Refunds 78.8 million 77.8 million 1%

Average refund $2,792 $2,755 $37

Source: Internal Revenue Service

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