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Tax day rush isnt as rushed as usual

Today is tax day. A day where many Americans scramble to get their tax returns filed as the deadline looms.

However, many North Dakotans can breathe a sigh of relief this year as several counties have been granted an extension due to severe weather and flooding throughout the state. The new due date for those counties issued the extension is May 15.

Regardless of the extension, accountants throughout Dickinson are busy preparing returns. Dickinson accountant Tom Ribb said the April 15 rush is just part of the job.

"We don't have as tough a deadline tomorrow (today) as we've had in years past because we've got this extra time," Ribb said. "This is what we do."

Tom Reichert with Reichert Fisher PC in Dickinson said the extension gives accountants and those filing on their own a little extra cushion this year, but accountants usually work the deadline into their schedule.

"We try to manage it as much as possible," Reichert said. "Try to stay ahead of it so we know what's coming up and what's going out."

Reichert and Ribb said business usually picks up in January and stays steady throughout May because of the various tax due dates throughout the beginning of the year.

It won't pose much of a problem this year with the extension, but any work that wouldn't be completed by the April 15 deadline is typically granted an extension if filed for, Reichert said.

"Extensions are done pretty routinely. ... I love extensions," Reichert said. "I encourage everyone to do extensions because it spreads our work out."

Reichert said his clients have been happy with how their taxes have turned out this year, especially those who have seen increased income due to oil production in the state and added he hasn't heard many complaints in the face of a struggling economy.

"We're fortunate here," Reichert said. "2008 was a good year for North Dakota.

Tax Commissioner Cory Fong said several North Dakotans have already filed their return with the state this year.

As of April 10, a total of 231,647 returns were entered into the state's system, Fong said, which is about two-thirds of the 340,000 returns they expect to be filed.

Fong said this tax season has been good for the taxpayers of North Dakota so far with an average refund of $270, which is up $33 from last year. To date, the state has issued 158,000 refunds, totaling $42.5 million.

"I think this is another good sign that things are going well in our state," Fong said. "We do have a lot to be thankful for."