Tax deadline fast approaches - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tax deadline fast approaches

April 5, 2007

Albany--If you haven't filed your taxes yet, you have exactly twelve days to do so. With the deadline fast approaching, last minute tax filers have already swamped area tax filing services.

But in case you're one who hasn't even started on your tax preparations yet, News 10 has a few tips for you.

April 17th: It's the day procrastinators dread, just as Gayle Grimsley. "Oh, God! I was horrible! I would wait until the last minute!" she says.

And if you ask her reason for waiting, she'll give you this answer. "I don't know!"

For Grimsley, every year was a race to the nearest post office. "Like a crazy maniac, run to the post office to put my returns in the mail," she says.

But this year, she finally broke her old habits. For one reason only. "The lines got longer, and I got older, and slower," she says.

But there are still many more folks out there just like her. They're flooding area tax services including this one in Albany.

"It's been very busy with had a lot of last minute people coming," says Juanita Williams.

In turn, keeping Income Tax Consultant Juanita Williams extra busy. "They're trying to beat that rush," says Williams.

If you have yet to file, she has a few suggestions to make your visit with a tax professional a lot easier. "A person needs to bring their identification, social security numbers of all persons that they're filing for.  If they have all their papers, they need to bring their W-2s," says Williams.

And if you think you might miss the tax deadline: "If they haven't received their papers from the banks, mortgage interests, if they haven't gathered all of their credits and things of this nature then they would probably need to file for an extension," says Williams.

Don't forget to ask about special deductions, you might be able to take advantage of.  For example: "They're other credits this year such as the energy credit for a person's primary home. So If a person has bonified their home for energy efficiency such as insulation, windows and doors," says Williams.

If you're able, Williams suggests filing your tax returns electronically. "It's always more safe, fast, to e-file the return," she says.

For the first time in ages, Grimsley can breathe a sigh of relief knowing she's filed her taxes on time and several months before the deadline.

But for those who have yet to, she sends out this warning. "Stop procrastinating. Stop waiting until the last minute!" says Grimsley.

If you can't meet the deadline, you will need to file Form 4868 with the IRS. That will push your deadline back to October 15.

If you do file late, penalties can mount up at a rate of five percent of the amount due with your return for each month that you're late.

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