MOULTRIE -- With less than a week to go, the Internal Revenue Service has some last minute advice for tax filers.

"Double check your math, don't leave off or provide incorrect social security numbers, be sure to send in all of your forms," said Mark Green, an IRS media relations specialist. "And be sure to sign the returns."

Forms that are sent in unsigned are not considered valid and may result in a "failure to file" penalty.

Green stressed the importance of filing.

"Even if you can't afford to pay the total amount, at least file," he said.

Often, people who owe taxes simply don't file because they can't pay their debt. Green said that while the IRS does prefer a partial payment, filing is the important part.

Filers who owe money to the IRS can submit an Installment Agreement Form (Form 9465).

The IRS accepts payments in the form of checks, money orders and credit cards, and can also electronically deduct payments from bank accounts if a filer requests it.

Green said that filers can avoid penalties by filing an extension, which stretches the filing deadline to Aug. 15. Extensions can be filed by telephone, on the Internet or by sending in a Form 4868.

Those owing money should include a partial payment with the extension form.

Green said that 600,000 Georgians filed extensions last year, and he expects 400,000 extensions this year.

Green cites procrastination and fear as the main reasons for filing extensions.

An second extension deadline -- until Oct. 15 -- is available.

"You need an excuse," said Green. "A legitimate excuse."

During times of war, the IRS grants special extensions.

Those serving in combat zones are given an automatic 180-day extension. The 180-day period begins the day a person leaves the combat zone.

"That includes all active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces in combat zones, as well as civilians such as journalists and Red Cross volunteers working in those zones," said Green. "It's one less thing for families to worry about."

Green said that the majority of people expecting refunds have filed their returns already.

"The average refund for Georgians is about $1,500," he said.

Filers can check the status of their returns by clicking on the "Where's My Refund?" icon at the IRS Web site.

Green said that the IRS plans to increase is compliance activities, including auditing, in the near future. He added that those who have not filed taxes in past years can "come clean" now and avoid further penalties.

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