Tax slow-pokes get extra days

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The deadline to file one’s 2011 tax return is looming, and tax preparers are urging procrastinators to get their forms together and get filed.

Late filing is a common, and residents can take a few simple steps to get things in order, said Tim Johnson with H&R Block.

“If you waited until the last minute, you’re not alone,” Johnson said. “The best advice I can give is be thorough in getting your information together. Make sure you have all income statements and deductible items before coming in to see a tax preparer.”

Johnson said that’s the No. 1 problem tax preparers see.

“If you can get it all together, don’t panic,” he said. “You can file an extension, but you should remember that it’s an extension to file, not an extension to pay.”

This year, taxpayers have an extra two days to file. Instead of the traditional April 15 filing deadline, this year’s date is April 17.

“That’s going to be a little confusing to some people, too,” Johnson said. “Basically, it’s a two-day extension due to a holiday in Washington. The 15th is on a Sunday, so it was deferred to the 16th, but that’s the holiday. Now, you have until the 17th to file. For procrastinators, that’s good news.”

Johnson said taxpayers should also inform one’s tax preparer of any changes from the year.

“You want to make sure you get all the deductions you can,” he said. “A lot of people hurry to get things together and may miss some deductions or credits. So make sure you talk with your tax professional about all the changes from the last year.”

For additional information, visit the Internal Revenue Service website, which offers instructional videos for troubleshooting the process, including topics like extensions, payment options, last-minute tips and how to find the status of a refund for those who have already filed.

Filers can also follow the agency on Twitter through to stay completely up to date with any additional information.

For more information on IRS services, visit