The deadline for filing taxes this year is Tuesday, April 17, due to April 15 falling on a Sunday and today being Emancipation Day, which is observed in Washington, D.C.
With the deadline fast approaching, Joyce Gardner at Gardner’s Tax & Financial Services said the office has been busy since the first of the year.
“Our office staffs 10 full-time preparers,” Gardner said. “We have all been working 50 to 70 hour weeks since the end of January. So, I am happy with our turnout.”
With people waiting until close to the final day to prepare their taxes, Gardner said customers should come to the office prepared.
“I would say be prepared with all your documents and be patient,” Gardner said. “Also, if your accountant tells you it is best to file an extension – take their advice to heart.
“To try and hurry a complex return is opening the door to missing deductions and making mistakes.”
According to information provided from H&R Block, a recent survey conducted said 80 percent of respondents believe they are clutch, or being capable of responding well under pressure with a deadline looming.
“The cost for coming up empty after the tax deadline could mean waiting even longer for a refund, or if you owe, paying additional penalties and interest on the unpaid amount,” said Kathy Pickering, vice president of regulatory affairs and executive director of The Tax Institute at H&R Block. “The good news is there’s still time to come in clutch and avoid penalties and interest.”
As far as turning customers away, Gardner said her office “would never turn anyone away” but “may need to convince them to file an extension.”
“Our number one priority is customer service,” Gardner said.
Gardner also said that with the Tax Cuts and Job Act signed into law by President Donald Trump in December 2018, taxpayers should check with their tax preparer for advice on how to proceed.
“Tax rates went down and most everyone’s take home pay increased,” Gardner said. “We have found that some of our clients are receiving too much in their pay and we needed to adjust their withholding.”
H&R Block advices taxpayers file something by the deadline.
“To avoid penalties, you have to pay at least 90 percent of your taxes due,” Pickering said. “A tax professional can help you estimate your tax liability or you can use a tax calculator online to figure out your tax liability and make any necessary payments to avoid the penalty.”