Gearing up for Tax Day

Published 9:12 pm Friday, April 15, 2011

The government is shaking their big piggy bank, checking the books and letting people know who owes what and who gets how much.

That’s right, it’s tax time and across the Pike County area an audible sigh of relief could be heard when the IRS extended the tax filing deadline to April 18, giving local area residents three more days of putting off the inevitable.

According to Tax Adviser 2, Gayle Henderson, the reason you’re procrastinating is probably because you think you owe the government money.

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Henderson, who works for H&R Block, said people generally become more stressed around this time of year and put off doing their taxes either intentionally or by accident.

“Nobody likes to feel like they owe any money and usually the majority of the people who wait to get their taxes ready for filing are the people who feel like they are going to owe some money and aren’t in a hurry to pay that money in. And, so they procrastinate and put it off as long as they can,” Henderson said.

The reason others may procrastinate isn’t because they’re afraid they may forget what having money feels like—we’ve passed that point—instead, according to Henderson, some simply forget.

“There are others who think, ‘oh, I’m going to do that,’ but then the time is here and they realize they still haven’t done it,” Henderson said. “They’ve just had other things that have caused them to forget until tax time.”

Henderson said she realizes there is added pressure in getting the paperwork together for filing, especially when tax deadline is so close, but said there is also added pressure for the tax preparer to make sure clients have everything they need in order to file properly.

“Of course, the tax payer is our primary concern and we want to do the tax return as correctly as we can possibly do it,” Henderson said.

“It makes it a little more stressful for clients if they do wait, because, for example, if you come in February and you don’t have all the information you have several more days to do it, but when you come in on the 15th or the 18th, then you don’t have a lot of time to contact the right people if you do need that additional information.”

Henderson said she encourages taxpayers not to put off filing your taxes until the last minute.

According to Henderson, making sure that nothing is left undone, making sure that the needs of the client have been taken care of and that nothing has passed by unnoticed, are all things that she, as a tax adviser, takes into consideration.

“At the end of tax season, we don’t really know how many people may be coming in on any particular day,” Henderson said. “We may think we will have five, but then all of a sudden we have more than 10. That is the stressful part, not really know how many exactly to expect.”

Henderson said it is better to file your tax return just as early as you get all your documentation together so that you will give yourself time to financially prepare yourself, should you owe anything.

“That, in my mind, would make it a lot less stressful for a taxpayer to know exactly what they owe and have several weeks to prepare for it,” Henderson said.

According to Henderson, the tax filing extension was made because of a holiday in Washington, D.C., which coincides with the traditional April, 15, tax date.

“There is a holiday in Washington, D.C., and tax season can not end on a holiday,” Henderson said. “Since it ended on Friday, Saturday is not a workday and Sunday is not a workday, so it had to go to Monday, making it April, 18.”