Procrastinators unite and get your taxes done

Things the "last-minute filer" needs to know

TAMPA - In case you didn't notice, the deadline has arrived for you to pay Uncle Same. Despite IRS delays at the beginning of tax season, April 15 arrived on time, just like it always does.

As of April 1, 97 million tax payers had already taken care of their returns according to filing statistics.

But let's say you are one of the many who still hasn't made that trip to the local CPA or logged on a tax-prepping website just yet.  If you are one of those, the below tips from Bay Area Certified Public Accountant Mike Smith are for YOU!

"If its April 15 and you haven't filed your taxes and you don't have your information together, file an extension," says Smith.

Smith says there is still hope for procrastinators, but people have to remember filing takes time.  Especially when you have to file at the last minute.

For those of you out there who think you will just log on to one of those tax prep sites and get it done before the stroke of midnight, you probably want to think again.  Smith says you run the risk of those sites crashing on you before you can complete your return considering the extensive traffic they have on deadline day.

Smith says your best bet this late in the game is to start running the numbers yourself.

"If you owe money, then you need to try to calculate or estimate, the best you can how much you might owe," explains Smith.  "Go ahead and pay it in with the extension.  Get that done, then take your time about organizing everything."

He says those late files have until October 15 to get everything squared away, but there will be a penalty if you owe Uncle Sam and don't pay a little something up front when you file your extension. 

"You're looking at about half a percent a month, which is about six-percent a year, with three percent interest.

Not cheap, but better late than never.  Which brings us to those "not just late filers," but those who have failed to get their taxes done for multiple years.  Smith has this advice.

"Get current with this year," says Smith.  "Get that one done, even if you have to extend it.  Get it done first because then you can go back with those years.  They're already delinquent, but its important that they get done in a reasonable period of time.

Below is a list of Bay Area Post Offices extending their hours for April 15.  And if you know you owe the IRS, how about  some free stuff to soften the blow?  Click here for your free stuff, including Arby's curly fries, Cinnabon minis, even free copies at Office Depot.


CARROLLWOOD PO 7:00 P.M. 12651 N. Dale Mabry Highway

COMMERCE PO 5:30 P.M. 401 N. Ashley Street

FOREST HILLS PO 6:00 P.M. 11800 N. Florida Avenue

HILLDALE PO 6:00 P.M. 3201 W. Hillsborough Avenue

NEW TAMPA PO 5:30 P.M. 16350 Bruce B. Downs Boulevard

TEMPLE TERRACE PO 6:00 P.M. 8761 N. 56th Street

TOWN N' COUNTRY PO 6:00 P.M. 7521 Paula Drive

PENNINSULA PO 6:00 P.M. 1002 S. Church Street

TAMPA MAIN PO 11:59 P.M. 3501 Bessie Coleman Boulevard

WEST TAMPA PO 5:30 P.M. 1802 N. Howard Avenue      





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