Phone app checks income tax refund status

Monday, April 18, 2011

Today is the filing deadline for federal income tax returns. It's three days later than usual, due to a local holiday observed Friday in Washington, D.C.

Emancipation Day marks President Abraham Lincoln's signing of the law ending slavery in the District of Columbia. Lincoln signed it April 16, 1862, more than eight months before he signed the Emancipation Proclamation. April 16 fell on a Saturday this year, so the holiday was observed April 15, the traditional tax filing deadline.

As of March 25, about 87 percent of the individual returns processed by the Internal Revenue Service qualified for refunds, the Associated Press reported.

For those anxiously awaiting their refund checks, there's an application for that. The IRS2Go application for cellphones, launched this tax season, allows people to check the status of their refunds and get other tax information on the go. The free app has already been downloaded by more than 250,000 people, according to the IRS. People with iPhones can download the IRS2Go app by visiting the Apple App Store, and Android users may access it at the Android Marketplace.

Taxpayers can check the status of their federal refund by entering their Social Security number, which is masked and encrypted for security purposes. Taxpayers then pick the filing status they used and enter the amount of the refund they expect from their 2010 tax return. For people who e-file, the refund function of the app will work within about 72 hours after they receive an email acknowledgment saying the IRS received their tax return. For more information, visit www.IRS.gov.

* New children's clothing store: The Children's Place will open later this year inside West Park Mall in Cape Girardeau. The company is a leading specialty retailer of children's clothing and merchandise. As of January, the company operated 995 stores and an online store at www.childrensplace.com. Things Remembered and Sportsman Trail will be relocated within the mall to accommodate The Children's Place. The new store will be about 4,000 square feet. "The mall is pleased to be able to accommodate our existing tenants while adding national retailers to our mix," said Susan Godorov, vice president of marketing for Centro Properties Group.

* Ice cream shop to open: Kaleidoscoops will open later this month at 1741 Kingshighway. The store will offer ice cream, bagels and muffins. It is owned by Bill and Jennifer Green of Cape Girardeau, according to a business license filed at city hall. The couple also owns Q Audio and Video in the same shopping center.

* New framing business: River City Custom Framing will open in May at 1027 Broadway in Cape Girardeau. The store will offer custom picture frames and framing services. It is owned by Malcom McLeary of Cape Girardeau and Brittany Burns of Jackson, according to a business license filed at city hall.

* Smoke shop now open: SEMO Smokes, offering custom-made cigarettes, is now open at 1412 N. Kingshighway in Cape Girardeau. Customers choose a type of tobacco and the kind of tube they want to use, which then are placed into a rolling machine at the store. In about eight minutes it produces 200 cigarettes, said owner Mark Metcalf, who recently moved back to the Cape Girardeau area from Las Vegas.

Southeast Missourian business reporter Melissa Miller may be contacted at 388-3646 or mmiller@semissourian.com.

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