Alabama tax filing season

Baldwin County school officials plan to meet today to talk about the failure of a tax plan at the ballot box. That meeting will focus on what to do now.

The referendum was voted down March 31. It would have given the county an 8 mill property tax increase. Voters in Baldwin County also voted to end existing funding that gives Baldwin County 12 mills a year. Now, Baldwin County only has 8 mills total in education tax revenue, and needs to get to the state-mandated 10 mills.

The Internal Revenue Service estimates 440,000 Alabamians will wait until April to file their tax returns.

IRS spokesman Dan Boone says people waiting until close to the April 15 deadline should not miss out on earned income tax credits. He said many lower-income workers can qualify. Some workers who couldn't qualify in previous years may now qualify because of a change in marital status or addition of a child. A person who worked some part of 2012 and had a household income below $50,270 may qualify.

Federal prosecutors and law enforcement officials have warned Alabama residents to be vigilant in watching for identity theft as tax filing season begins.

U.S. Attorney George Beck in the Middle District of Alabama said Thursday nine people have been arrested in recent days and eight are to be sentenced Friday in identity theft cases in the district. He says the cases involve millions of dollars.

He says tax season tends to bring out thieves looking for "easy money" from filing fraudulent returns or from fraudulently preparing someone's returns.