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Story idea: The tax return cometh
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About this blog
By Mike Turley
Penny Riordan manages digital content partnerships for GateHouse Media. She works out of the Center for News and Design in Austin. Prior to joining the company, she worked at Patch.com for four years, where she led social media, blogging and UGC ...
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Social Media Blog
Penny Riordan manages digital content partnerships for GateHouse Media. She works out of the Center for News and Design in Austin. Prior to joining the company, she worked at Patch.com for four years, where she led social media, blogging and UGC efforts for the company. She also launched a Patch site in Maryland. Penny has also worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Maryland and Connecticut.
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Once again, Tax Day is near, but this time taxpayers have a two-day reprieve as the traditional deadline of April 15 falls on a Sunday. Still, some will procrastinate and file their returns Tuesday with the IRS, while others already will have received their long-anticipated refund check.



According to recent reports, this year’s refund is averaging about $3,000, which is a bit less than the average return in 2011. Still, $3,000 is a nice sum to pay down debt on a loan, take a relaxing vacation or buy that 55-inch, flat-screen television just in time for the baseball season.



To localize:



Ask readers through a callout what they plan to do with their refund check. Run the responses online with comments to create a discussion. Take the best responses and print them in an ASF format in the newspaper. Get headshots or even have a staff photographer take a shot of the people with their purchases.



Ask readers if they have more taxes taken out of their paychecks during the year to ensure a larger return when Tax Day arrives.



Check with local accounting firms to get an average tax refund for your circulation area. Check with local investment firms, financial advisers and banking institutions to see if people are investing their tax returns instead of spending them.



Talk with local retail stores, electronic outlets and automobile dealerships to see if they have experienced an increase in sales related to tax returns. 



 

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