By Don Bolding
Killeen Daily Herald
To tax professionals in the Killeen area this year, April 16 was seeming like April 14.
That was the effect of two extra days in the filing season – people who typically put off filing until the last minute when April 15 falls on a weekday were racing the deadline in the unusual configuration that pushed the filing deadline back to today.
When April 15 falls on a weekend, the filing deadling is midnight the next Monday. Because Sunday was April 15 and Monday was Emancipation Day and a holiday in Washington, D.C., the dreaded deadline held its fire until today.
Returns will be filed on time if they're sent up electronically any time today or if they're mailed and postmarked by midnight tonight.
Karyn Cain, general manager of the Killeen area's Jackson Hewitt Tax Service offices, said, "I'm not sure how many people realize they have an extra day to file on time. There's a crunch, but it's no worse than during a normal year. We want to tell people to get in as early as they can, but to organize their records the best they can first. Please don't come in with a shoebox full of receipts at the last minute."
Taxpayers still in the shoebox stage can request an extension through any accountant, commercial tax service or on their own, but all tax professionals contacted emphasized that the two-month extension just borrows time to file paperwork. Taxes still have to be paid on time, and if estimates are off, the taxpayer may get a refund or pay the balance due with interest.
Bonnie Hartselle, office supervisor at the H&R Block district office at 710 W. Rancier Ave. in Killeen, also said the two extra days apparently just delayed the usual end-of-season rush and urged filers not to wait until the last minute. She noted that many people don't understand that the extension of time to file does not include interest-free delayed payments.
Pat Warner, administrator of the accounting firm Lott Vernon & Co., which deals with continuing clients more than the tax offices, said, "The people waiting until the last minute are the ones who tend to do it no matter when the last minute is."
She also noted that the later a person waits, the more expedient an extension looks, and urged people to remember that it means pay now and file later.
Emancipation Day, a holiday only in the municipality of Washington, D.C., commemorates After President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act for the release of certain people held in bondage in the District of Columbia, the slaveholders were compensated. The act freed about 3,100 people in the district nine months before the general Emancipation Proclamation, which authorized no compensation.
District of Columbia Mayor Anthony Williams signed an ordinanace making it a holiday in 2005.
It meant a holiday for the nerve center of the Internal Revenue Service. The filing deadline falls on Monday again in 2012.
Contact Don Bolding at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7557