Deadline to file taxes is Monday


April 14, 2011 at 5:05 p.m.
Updated April 13, 2011 at 11:14 p.m.

While some people busied themselves Thursday gathering receipts and locating W-2 forms in preparation for the looming tax deadline, Theresa Novosad opted for a lunchtime trip to DeLeon Plaza.

She got her taxes out of the way early on.

"It's already done, I've gotten it back and spent it," she said about her return with a laugh. "I don't wait around. But if I owed money, it would probably be a different story."

Taxpayers have until Monday to file their 2010 returns. The three-day extension comes because Emancipation Day, a holiday in Washington, D.C., falls on the typical April 15 deadline.

The busy time for most accountants comes at the beginning of the season, said Homer Escalante, a tax preparer who owns Express Tax in Victoria.

"I do 90 to 95 percent of my returns by mid-February," he said, noting that the people who wait until the last minute are typically the ones who owe money. "We do see a spike just before the deadline, but, at this point, I'm pretty much past my peak."

Those who know they won't have their information together in time can always file for extensions, Escalante said, but that extension only applies to filing, not paying what's owed.

"It's a common misconception," he explained. "But, if you haven't paid by the 18th, the payment is late, and you run into interest and penalties."

Edna CPA John J. Shutt advised those who haven't filed yet to take all necessary documentation along. That includes W-2 and 1099 forms, Social Security statements, information on vehicles, boats or homes purchased and more.

Business owners, however, probably should have already contacted their accountants to make sure they're adequately prepared.

"You want to make sure you have everything together," he explained. "Be organized."

Like Escalante, Shutt said the season eases up near the end and said that's when preparers decide which returns to finish before deadline and which to extend.

April 18 is not only the end of this year's tax season for Shutt, but the end of his time in the tax preparation industry. After more than 30 years in the profession, he will retire to pursue other business interests.

He said he looks forward to the more peaceful days ahead, but has enjoyed his work through the years.

"Most of my clients are my friends, so I'll probably stay in touch with a lot of them," he said. "But it will be nice."



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