Waiting Until the Last Minute

By: Lisa Ferrari
By: Lisa Ferrari

April 14, 2006

There are three days and counting and if you haven't prepared your taxes, you're not alone.

“I didn't make an appointment to get my taxes done until this morning,” said last minute filer Adam Gottschalk.

If you're like Adam and waiting until the last minute…

“Yah, he's an April guy,” said Adam’s H&R Block Tax Preparer Nick Lang.

Tax preparers say they're ready for you but make sure you're ready for them.

“I didn't even know what I was going to be able to deduct this year. I didn't even know what I made this year [except] for an hour out from when I had to actually get my taxes done,” said Gottschalk.

Make sure you have all necessary documents with you to avoid delays.

“[People often] have to come back two or three times before we can finish up,” said Lang.

Tax experts say consider ''hidden'' deductions. If you run a small business, or work from your home, office space may qualify for a tax deduction. Education expenses can also put some money back in your pocket.

"If you are paying any kind of tuition and fees, at UVA for example, and it's out of your own pocket, there are some really nice deductions and credits available," said Lang.

The goal, as you know, is to make sure the IRS keeps as little of your money as possible.

“I'm sure I've left a few thousand dollars sitting on the table somewhere in years past but you live with it and move on,” said Gottschalk.

You have until Monday at midnight to sign and mail in your return. You can also request an extension for six months by filing a simple online form but remember it’s not an extension to pay. If you owe Uncle Sam, you still have to mail a check by midnight on Monday.

Because April 15th fell on a Saturday, the IRS extended the deadline to Monday at midnight this year.

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