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Governor Barbour





February 25, 2009

GOVERNOR BARBOUR URGES MISSISSIPPIANS TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EASY, FREE ELECTRONIC TAX PREPARATION

Governor Haley Barbour announced a partnership with the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) aimed at helping lower- and moderate-income Mississippi taxpayers - including those eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, active-duty military, students, and seniors - to electronically prepare and file their taxes for free.

Now in its sixth year, the Free File Alliance program is a partnership between the IRS (www.irs.gov), 21 state tax agencies (including the Mississippi State Tax Commission) and the nation’s electronic tax software manufacturers, including Intuit, the maker of TurboTax (www.taxfreedom.com). Eligible Mississippi residents can go to the Mississippi State Tax Commission Web site, www.mstc.state.ms.us, click on the PC Online Filing link and then click on Approved On-Line Service Providers to choose from several free offers.

“Like nearly every other state in the nation, Mississippi faces budget challenges and many Mississippians are feeling the effects. The idea that government and industry got together years ago to create this Free File program is pretty remarkable, and I want to make sure that every eligible taxpayer uses Free File,” said Governor Barbour.

“The IRS and the state don’t pay a dime for this program and neither do Mississippi taxpayers. This is one of those rare examples of good news during tax season,” Barbour said. “Hundreds of thousands of Mississippi residents are entitled to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) a tax program specifically designed to help hard working Americans. But the IRS tells us that as many as 20 percent of those eligible never file for it. Free File helps you claim every credit and deduction, including EITC.”

Ed Morgan, the Commissioner of Revenue and Chairman of the Mississippi State Tax Commission, also encourages every Mississippi taxpayer to electronically file their tax returns. “Not only is e-filing good for taxpayers because they get their refunds back much quicker, e-filing saves the state money since it costs much more to process a paper return.”

Col. Robert F. Thomas, Assistant Adjutant General for the Mississippi Army National Guard, thanked Free File for providing the free service to the men and women in uniform.

David Macklin, representing the event sponsor CCIA, said, “We are thrilled to be back again with Governor Barbour. Governor Barbour and CCIA are both strong advocates for fostering innovative public-private partnerships that put technology’s tools into everyone’s hands.”

Bernie McKay, with the Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation, said, “We are proud to donate TurboTax Freedom Edition to working families, lower-income filers, students and the men and women in uniform so bravely serving our country. Having donated more than 18 million returns to qualified taxpayers since 1998, our donation of TurboTax is our largest philanthropic initiative. We are delighted to be back again with Governor Barbour to help spread the word so that qualified taxpayers can get their income taxes electronically prepared and e-filed safely, quickly and for free.”