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Filing taxes? Include those stimulus package credits

With tax day looming, two local Democratic members of Congress reminded Long Islanders Wednesday to file for federal tax benefits included in the stimulus bill.

Reps. Carolyn McCarthy of Mineola and Steve Israel of Huntington cited the $2,500 college expense credit and $8,000 credit for first-time home buyers as proof that the stimulus bill was benefiting middle-class taxpayers.

"The tax credits are good for Long Islanders," McCarthy said at a news conference with Israel outside State Supreme Court in Mineola. She said that people who already have filed, but failed to list the credits, could file amended returns.

Israel said that refund amounts are up by 10 percent so far this year, "and Long Islanders need to make sure they're getting their fair share."

The news conference, along with similar pitches from other officials, comes as taxpayers face an April 15 filing.

On a similar note, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, a Republican, urged county business owners to file for state Empire Zone tax benefits before the June 30 deadline.

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