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Franchot's Video Promotes Tax E-Filing -- with Bathroom Humor

Late tax filers who owe money to Maryland can get a two-week extension on their state returns to April 30, Comptroller Peter Franchot's office has announced -- but only if they file electronically.

Franchot has been pushing e-filing all tax season because it saves his office $2 for each electronically-filed return, compared to returns that be opened and processed manually by his tax staff.

That's the news. Now, for the delivery... Another public service announcement on You Tube.

"E-filer Knows Best" is the title of the 1 minute, 17 second video, which taps into the procrastination instinct common to many taxpayers around April 15.

"Do you wait until the last minute to do just about everything?" a narrator says. The grainy, black-and-white video cuts to a woman caught behind the wheel of her car with no gas, a girl delivering a homework assignment late to a disapproving teacher and....a man wetting his pants because he can't get to the bathroom quickly enough. And you thought taxes were boring?

Check out the video. Franchot is also doing an online chat on the topic from 2-3 p.m. Thursday.

By Lisa Rein  |  April 6, 2009; 3:03 PM ET
Categories:  Lisa Rein  
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Comments

"Late tax filers who owe money to Maryland can get a two-week extension on their state returns to April 30."

You MUST file electronically by 04/15/09. If you owe money, you get two additional weeks to pay.

The 1st sentence of the article implies that one can file electgronically until 04/30/09.

Posted by: AStMarysConstituient | April 6, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Or if you read between the lines. We don't have the money to refund so take your time.

Posted by: askgees | April 6, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

If the Feds owe you money, there is NO penalty for filing after April 15 (the penalty is always based on what you owe; if you don't owe anything, no penalty). Is it the same with Maryland?

Posted by: Richard88 | April 6, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

"Or if you read between the lines. We don't have the money to refund so take your time."

Yah, almost 4 weeks since filing MD taxes electronically and still waiting for the refund. Got the Fed refund in two weeks, but then the Fed prints the $.

Posted by: AStMarysConstituient | April 6, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I am a tax practitioner who has already used the iFile system for more than 400 returns. This is a terrific state for refunding its citizens fast, usually in 3 or 4 days! Much better than D.C. and Virginia.
What I do object to is the state's unwillingness to change the payment dates of those who have already scheduled an April 15 automatic withdrawal of funds from the taxpayers' bank accounts. All taxpayers should be permitted to have that later payment date, regardless of when they filed.

Posted by: marmerg | April 7, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

The provision allowing later payment is in the law, folks, and has been for several years.

Posted by: asdf2 | April 7, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

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