Income tax deadline brings last-minute rush (Video)
April 15, 2013 at 6:02 p.m.
Updated April 15, 2013 at 11:16 p.m.
Staci Shelley braced herself Monday morning as she readied for the hours ahead. Armed with the essentials - namely her W-2, other tax forms and identification - she ventured out to what she expected to be a crowded office.
Stepping into the Jackson Hewitt (www.jacksonhewitt.com) office at 1304 E. Rio Grande St. Suite B, however, was a happy surprise.
"We walked right in," she said. "We didn't have to wait at all."
The Victoria resident got in under the wire, filing her 2012 tax returns Monday, deadline day. And she wasn't alone.
Terry Delgado, Jackson Hewitt's general area manager, said her office was busy all last week with last-minute filers, many of whom filed extensions. She expected work to continue through about 10 p.m. Monday.
"We won't see just one big rush, but we'll be steady all day," she said, seated behind her desk. "From 5 to 10 p.m., though, it will be busy."
Tax Day tends to make people nervous, Delgado said, but she tries to put people at ease. First comes a quick review of their forms - an estimate regarding whether they'll owe money or get something back - and then putting theoretical pen to paper and getting that work done.
The Monday deadline only applies to those who owe, she said, noting that people who will receive refunds have three years to file. Even those who do owe can file extensions, giving them until Oct. 15.
Extensions only offer more time to file, however, and payment is still due Monday. Those who don't pay or who just pay the partial amount face interest fees.
"It gets confusing," Delgado said. "But it makes me happy to know that we can help somebody."
Not everyone who ventured inside a tax office Monday was there on last-minute detail.
Anton Eggebeen, a Cuero welder, got his business out of the way in March but visited his tax preparer for a quick review. With some out-of-state forms, he said he wanted to make sure everything was handled correctly.
Eggebeen said he likes filing early on, mostly because it eliminates that end-of-season rush.
"That way, I'm not missing work on the 15th to do this," he said, gesturing around the lobby. "Don't wait. Just get it done."
Tax Day also meant added business Monday for the United States Postal Service. (https://www.usps.com)
Cars and trucks slowed to a stop beside a large sign outside Victoria's Main Street post office as people dropped off their forms. Although the post office closed at 6 p.m., mail collection continued through midnight.
Nursery resident Irma Doole sat in her car about 3 p.m., filling out an envelope before Juan A. Nevarez, her other half, dropped it in the box. Doole, who works in billing, said she often puts off her taxes until the bitter end.
"I don't always wait until the 15th, but it's usually April," she said. "I usually end up having to pay, so I wait."
This year's tax season brought other challenges, she said, when she lost some of the necessary forms. Watching Nevarez cross back to the car, she said, was a relief.
"It feels good," she said. "It's all taken care of."
Shelley, too, said she was glad the annual task was over.
She typically files her taxes by February, she said, but a holdup with her W-2 pushed that back. She encouraged others in her situation to keep in contact with their employers and get the necessary documents.
"Be persistent," she said. "You have to get things done."