Tax Deadline Triggers Last-Minute Filing Rush
April 15 -- tax filing day -- is here, and with it comes a rush of last-minute requests for help from people struggling to complete their 1040s before the midnight deadline.
Local accounting firms, like H&R Block on South Atherton Street, are preparing for a busy day, with customers lining up down the block for a chance to speak with accountants and tax preparation experts before filing their individual tax return.
"It looks like we're going to be booked solid all day," says Erin, a tax preparer at H&R Block who declined to give her last name. "We know we're going to have people lining up out the door."
April 15 is without a doubt the busiest day of the year for accountants. According to the IRS, 35 million returns are expected to filed in the last week before the deadline.
For those who are unprepared and coming in to file at the last minute, Erin encourages filing for an extension. H&R Block will help file an electronic or paper mail copy of a Form 4868, known as an application for extension. Additionally, you can pay all or part of your estimated income tax due using a credit or debit card by using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, offered for free through the Department of Treasury.
In addition the tax preparers, local post offices are also preparing to deal with an exceedingly busy day. As the last step in the tax return process, many people wait to the last minute to send away their hard-earned money. When dealing with large lines and the stress of an approaching deadline, sometimes tempers flare, so it's important to stay calm and be patient.
"We take one at a time," says Sharon Yearich, lead sales associate at the State College Post Office on East Calder Way. "You can't get flustered. You just have to move swiftly, and get everything done as best as you can."
The post office will remain open until 6 p.m. Tuesday. According to Yearich, if the office becomes too crowded, they will send someone into the lobby to check with customers and make sure all forms are filled out before approaching the front desk. It's important to streamline the process, says Yearich, because it prevents confusion and allows more people to ship their returns quickly and easily.
For help or last-minute questions or concerns regarding your tax return, call the IRS tax helpline at (800) 829-1040, available Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information on filing your return visit the IRS website by clicking here.