Tax refunds expected to take longer

12:43 AM, Feb 17, 2013   |    comments
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People are packing into Liberty Tax Service to file their 2012 tax returns.

The federal government did not begin accepting returns until January 30th. Now, lots of people are hoping Uncle Sam will pay them this time.

Reggie Mackay of Maryville could barely contain her excitement after learning she's getting a tax refund. 

Mackay said, "I usually take my refund and put some towards charity, that's just how I have been for the past five years, and then pay off some bills and being a student I have to do that too. If you buy one master's [degree] book it's about $200 a book."

Kayla Martin, an Alcoa mother of two, has other plans for her cold cash. She said, "I'm living from paycheck to paycheck and to find out I am getting a nice lump sum back to provide for my family was nice."

Martin and Mackay may have to wait a little longer until their bucks are in the bank.

Tax preparers are telling people it may take up to 21 days after filing for the government to issue their refund. This year's delay stems from last tax season when the IRS system crashed and caused a lot of anxiety among taxpayers.

Liberty Tax Service's manager Marie Burrell explained, "Returns were not processed in a timely manner.  It was just an issue with the IRS not being prepared for the volume they were seeing and this year obviously they've done a much better job of getting to those tax returns."

Despite the longer wait, people like Mackay are looking on the bright side. She said, "Not paying the IRS and them paying me is a good thing."

The last day to files taxes is April 15th. Tax preparers say customers should have all W2 forms, social security cards for children, and receipts to make the filing process go smoother.  Also, taxpayers are encouraged to ask questions because that can sometimes result in a bigger refund for the person.

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