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E-filing too slow for Ill. taxpayers

April 16, 2010 at 2:51 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., April 16 (UPI) -- Online filing, touted as a fast and easy way to submit returns, turned into a virtual barrier for Illinois residents trying to file their state returns.

Never fear, though, Illinois Department of Revenue spokeswoman Sue Hofer said the state agency would show leniency about applying late fees to those who were online on time Thursday, but couldn't file their returns until after the midnight deadline, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

Hofer said the main problem involved a recalcitrant program that generated unique personal identification numbers that must be attached to e-filed returns. Last-minute tax filers trying to get a PIN online Thursday received a message saying the system was down for maintenance.

Hofer didn't say how much leeway would be given before assessing penalties on late filers owing taxes but thwarted by computer problems, the Tribune reported. To reveal the terms could lead some scofflaw to push for a new deadline, she said.

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