"Slightly Delayed" Tax-Filers Won't Be Penalized, State Says

Last year's PIN still works, state says

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    TK
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    The Illinois Department of Revenue says tax filers who are "slightly delayed" by ongoing electronic filing issues will not be penalized.

    Reports began coming in Wednesday from residents saying they were having problems filing their taxes because the state's PIN application site was down.  

    The outage meant that anyone who hadn't filed online in the past needed to call a toll-free number to get the PIN.

    But here’s the rub: the provided 800 numbers give a perpetual busy signal because so many frantic tax filers are calling. 

    “What can I say: It’s April 15th,” said IDOR spokeswoman Sue Hofer. "This is why we encourage everyone in the state to file early."

    Hofer said that no one has been shut out of filing and that "slightly delayed" filers would not be penalized, though she didn't define that timeline.

    The majority of Prairie Staters have already submitted their tax forms to the state. Hofer said the Illinois anticipated more than 3.6 million residents would file their taxes electronically for 2010.

    Currently 3.1 million have filed, which means that close to 500,000 filers are still scrambling to get their tax forms in to the government offices.

    Hofer said she’s not sure how many of those half million filers are new to the system.

    New filers are the only one’s who will have a problem, Hofer said. Anyone who’s e-filed in the past can use the same pin they used last year.

    But that’s not exactly spelled out on the web site. 

    "I thought I needed a new one every year," said Jeralyn Camp, who waited until nearly the last minute to file. “If I could use the same one I assumed TurboTax would pull it in because the software is pretty smart.”

    But Camp said she wasn't going to take any chances and planned on doing her taxes the paper way and dropping them at the post office.

    “It’s a huge inconvenience,” she said.