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Eye Opener: 2010 Tax Day highlights, freebies

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

Happy Thursday! Or maybe not -- depending on how you feel about taxes.

It's a big day for the Internal Revenue Service, which will inevitably process more than 224 million tax returns and north of $2 trillion in revenue. Interestingly, the agency said it spends about 44 cents for each $100 collected.

You may recall that an IRS worker died in a February plane crash at its Austin offices and despite the annual Tax Season focus, agency employees are the subject of threats and attacks all year round. They're also increasingly the focus of anti-government sentiments fueled in part by the growing Tea Party movement.

Much of the IRS workload is yet to come: Total tax return receipts were down 2.5 percent earlier this month when compared to April 2009, but the average refund is up 9.4 percent compared over last year to $2,960, according to agency statistics.

For those of you still working on your 1040s or W-2s, the agency has posted tax tips and scam alerts, suggested mistakes to avoid and information on how late taxpayers can get a Free File. The IRS YouTube channel includes helpful "how to" videos starring an agency employee named Prince (No, really).

Procrastinators can find post offices open late tonight by visiting http://usps.whitepages.com/post_office.

We'll get a look at President and Mrs. Obama's tax returns at some point later today.

If you're hungry and ticked off by taxes, stop by Cinnabon, Maggie Moo's, Dairy Queen, Taco Del Mar, Starbucks, McCormick & Schmick's, P.F. Chang's or Whole Foods -- all of whom are giving out free samples or special discounts to mark the day.

And if you've already filed your returns and are looking for something to do today, here's a list of tax-themed events -- for the pro- and anti-tax crowds -- scheduled for Wednesday across Washington:

9 a.m.: The Tea Party Express rolls into town and unveils their targeted 2010 Congressional races at the National Press Club.
10 a.m.: IRS officials update lawmakers on this year's filing season during a Senate Finance Committee hearing at 10 a.m. on Capitol Hill.
10:45 a.m.: Democratic members of the Ohio Congressional caucus hold a news conference to tout how various new tax relief measures have helped middle class Buckeye State families.
11 a.m.: A House Judiciary subcommittee holds a hearing on the impact of Congressional legislation on state and local government tax revenues. (Gosh -- sounds exciting! Get there and grab a seat early!)
11 a.m.: The National Taxpayers Union, Freedomworks Foundation, the Eagle Forum, Online Tax Revolt, Americans for Tax Reform, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) and former Rep. Dick Armey (R-Tex.) and others hold a Tax Day protest at Freedom Plaza.
1:15 p.m.: House Republican leaders hold a news conference to discuss... wait for it... taxes.
4:30 p.m.: A group called The Other 95 Percent holds a rally to thank the Obama administration for the middle class tax cuts on the National Mall.

Did you file already? Will you file? How did you file? Will you show up for any of today's events?

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

Question of the Week: When was the last time a supervisor or colleague complimented you on your work? When was the last time you told a colleague or supervisor he had executed an assignment well? Send your answers to federaleye@washingtonpost.com and include your full name, home town, the federal agency for which you work. We may include your answers in Friday's Washington Post.

Cabinet and Staff News: How Solicitor General Elena Kagan's banter with Supreme Court justices might sway Obama's decision. Deputy CIA Director Stephen R. Kappes is stepping down. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sees little inflation threat. Former Rep. Don Cazayoux nominated for U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana. NSA Director Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander will testify at a Senate hearing on the new cyber command unit.

CENSUS BUREAU:
Republicans answer census critics: Some conservatives have decried the census as overly intrusive and unconstitutional. Now the party is worried its ranks will be undercounted.

GOVERNMENT WORK/LIFE/OPERATIONS:
House creates task force to increase number of minorities on Capitol Hill: The Committee on House Administration will lead the new efforts along with the House Chiefs of Staff Association and the congressional Asian Pacific, black and Hispanic caucuses.

HOMELAND SECURITY:
Coast Guard captain fined, demoted to lieutenant and ousted in sex scandal: It all happened to Capt. Herbert M. Hamilton III when he was found to have conducted a series of wildly inappropriate sexual relationships with female subordinates.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT:
Holder won’t rule out N.Y. 9/11 trial: The attorney general said the administration was taking “into consideration the concerns that have been raised by local officials, and by the community in New York City,” about the cost and disruptiveness of security arrangements that would be needed.

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS:
Library of Congress will save Tweets: Library officials explained the agreement as another step in the library’s embrace of digital media. Twitter, the Silicon Valley start-up, declared it “very exciting that tweets are becoming part of history.”

NASA:
Feud over NASA threatens America's edge in Space: President Barack Obama travels Thursday to the Kennedy Space Center to try to salvage his plans to re-energize the agency, but experts say U.S. manned space travel will likely be grounded for years longer than previously expected.

W.H. launches Aldrin's defense: In an email sent Wednesday afternoon from the White House press office, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin applauded the president’s “boldness” and changes to NASA’s human spaceflight missions.

SEC:
SEC proposal would track hedge funds' every transaction: All large traders would each be assigned a unique identification number, which would tag every trade they make. Their trading records would only be accessible to regulators investigating manipulative or abusive trading.

STATE DEPARTMENT:
Top State Department official: U.S.-Russia diplomatic analogy could use a reset: Under Secretary of State William J. Burns expressed some discomfort with how Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's "reset button" publicity stunt has colored U.S.-Russia-relations ever since.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT:
Treasury seeks public comments on reform plans for housing-finance system: They've issued seven questions for the public about how to remake the nation's housing-finance system.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | April 15, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Eye Opener  | Tags:  April 15, Tax Day, Tax Day freebies 2010  
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Comments

"They're also increasingly the focus of anti-government sentiments fueled in part by the growing Tea Party movement."

...unlike the union thuggists using brown-shirt intimidation techniques during the birth of the Tea Party movement, Ed? Hey, buddy, I understand that you have to kiss the arse of the WaPo editorial staff, who in turn worship at the altar of the Chosen One. Plus you wouldn't want to invite a "meeting in the parking lot" by a couple of "friends" from the SEIU. I get it.

Posted by: VeritusMaximus | April 15, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

VM: Your comment makes no sense - you went from A to Z without stopping at any logical steps in between.
It's a fact that the taxes in general, and the IRS specifically, are targets of many anti-government protestors. That fact has nothing to do with the WaPo editorial staff, the SEIU, or anyone else in your paranoid fantasy world.

Posted by: EinDC | April 15, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

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