Originally created 01/19/00

Tax forms should arrive soon



State and federal tax officials say it's that time of year again: time to start thinking about filing your income tax returns.

If you haven't received any tax forms yet, don't be alarmed, officials say. The forms should be delivered within the next two weeks.

The main Augusta branch of the Postal Service reports that most tax forms have been delivered to addresses in the ZIP code areas of 30901, 30909, 30904 and 30906. Remaining forms will be delivered by the end of the week, said Carol Klein, customer relations coordinator for the Augusta Postal Service.

The Martinez post office branch, which serves the 30907 ZIP code, has not received all of its state tax forms, and residents should expect delayed delivery, Ms. Klein said.

"They'll deliver them as soon as they get them," she said.

The Georgia Department of Revenue was not aware of any nondeliveries, spokesman Eric Roberts said.

Tax forms are delivered by bulk mail, which means post offices have up to three weeks to deliver them.

People who prepare their own taxes should receive any required tax forms by mail.

But those who have moved or previously hired a tax preparer might need to search for the necessary forms, which are available at public libraries, area Kroger stores and the local IRS office.

The forms are not available at post office branches.

Taxes and paperwork historically have gone hand in hand, but the IRS has spent the past few years encouraging taxpayers to file electronically.

The IRS aims to have 80 percent of taxpayers file electronically by 2007, said Larry Heath, a revenue agent with the Augusta office of the IRS.

"We're trying to make the IRS more efficient," Mr. Heath said.

And electronic filing not only reduces the paperwork involved with filing a tax return, but it also speeds the time it takes to receive a refund, he said.

Both Georgia and South Carolina saw record high numbers of electronic filers last year, officials said. In Georgia, 36 percent of taxpayers filed electronically; in South Carolina, 41 percent filed electronically.

"This is another banner year for us, in terms of electronic options in South Carolina," said Vicki Ringer, public affairs director for the South Carolina Department of Revenue. "For people who want their refund in a hurry, these options are wonderful."

Reach Heidi Coryell at (706) 823-3215.