Even with extension, some waiting until the last minute to file taxes

IRS tax deadline fast approaching

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Tax Day is fast approaching. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) extended the April 15th deadline to July 15th, giving taxpayers and extra three months, interest free, to file.

Marana Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Donald Hartman, says he’s been busier than ever.

“It has ramped up; it has ramped up the last two weeks,” he said.

Hartman says, like every year, people are waiting until the last second to file.

“I had several clients say, ‘I don’t care what I owe, I am not giving [the IRS] a red cent until July 15th’,” he said.

For taxpayers like Erica Velasquez, even that’s too soon.

“We are definitely going to be asking for an extension this year,” said the Tucson resident.

Velasquez, who is at a higher risk for the coronavirus, says she has only left her home a few times since the pandemic hit. With rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, she plans to keep it that way.

“We are just not comfortable exposing ourselves to that much time out in the public and to those kinds of offices,” said Velasquez.

“[People can] download an extension form and mail it in,” said Hartman.

Hartman says the number of people filing on their own has gone up.

“People [are] sitting at home on their computer, quarantined, bored. It’s up 9.6 %,” he said. “Self-prepared taxes are impacting all of us … but we may end up fixing those next year.”

For Velasquez, filing on her own just isn’t an option with a husband who is self-employed, making her household’s taxes more complicated.

Hartman, who has been preparing taxes for nearly 30 years, is changing with the times.

“We stopped doing in face interviews since early mid-March,” Hartman said.

However, change isn’t always bad.

“It’s actually made us more efficient,” said Hartman. “It’s going to change the way we do business.”

His biggest message: get your taxes or extension filed by the deadline. Late fees can add up.

“We have clients that we have done a lot of back work for, and we’ll find out they may owe $1,000 for 2015. The penalties and interest are more than that, so it’s more than doubled.”

The IRS is expecting about 150 million returns from individuals and as of last count, it had received almost 139 million.

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