Last-minute tax filers rush to meet deadline

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) — The countdown was on Tuesday for people wanting to file their taxes before the midnight deadline.

Just hours before the filing deadline, Youngstown State University student Lisa Adams filed her taxes at Tax 29 in Boardman.

“I like the rush of it,” Adams said.

She is not alone. Tax 29 owner Andrew Reigstad said there are usually a lot of people filing taxes right before deadline. The only other time filing is busier is in February, since most companies send out W-2 forms in January.

“The deadline kind of crept up on them. They weren’t really watching and goodness sakes, it’s April 15 and they need to get their taxes done,” Reigstad said.

Adams said waiting until the last minute is probably not the best idea.

“But if you got things to do, sometimes it happens that way,” she said.

Anyone who expects to receive a refund and doesn’t file by the deadline will not owe a penalty. However, anyone who owes money to Uncle Sam and does not file on time could face a fine.

The amount of the fine depends on how soon a person files after the deadline. It is suggested if a person is going to be late, they send the IRS what is called a “good faith” estimate of how much they will owe on taxes. But, for every month they are late, they can face a five percent fine, up to 25 percent overall.

“If you don’t have everything together, file an extension online,” Reigstad said.

On top of filing, there are changes compared to past years.

In the past, post offices would stay open late to help accommodate people filing their taxes at the last minute. This year, they didn’t stay open late in the Youngstown area, meaning those people would have to find different options.

The IRS estimates more than eight of every 10 tax returns are filed online. For people like Adams, filing online or with tax professionals makes it easier heading toward the deadline without facing a fine.

“It’s not too big of a deal. You have to do it,” Adams said.

Midnight also is the deadline to file your state and city income taxes. As of Monday night, there were still nearly 1 million Ohioans who had not yet filed their taxes, which is less than 9 percent.

The state is handing out $1.6 billion in refunds for 2013, which is up 94 percent from the previous year. Taxpayers also are getting a bigger refund. The average refund is more than $500, compared to less than $300 in the 2012 tax year.

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