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Last day to file taxes without penalty

April 15, 2009 7:27:13 AM PDT
Some people woke up Wednesday in a panic after realizing that it was the last day to file taxes without a penalty.Some people were late because they procrastinated, but others had put off filing because hard economic times were making it more difficult for those who owe money to come up with the cash to pay.

Job losses are a big factor for people this year.

A lot of people also chose to file online, but experts say however you file your taxes, it's best to get it done early.

"Don't wait until 8 p.m. to try to go online because online gets very busy," said Eileen Brown, H&R Block district manager.

"You could miss the e-filing deadline," she said.

Here are some last-minute tax tips:

  • File electronically
  • Check the I.D. numbers
  • Double check your figures
  • Make electronic payments
  • Extension to file

Suzi Eslick, a tax preparer at Jackson Hewitt, reminded locals to bring their ID and social security card if they haven't filed a return with the branch previously.

"They also need to bring the information on their kids, the proof of all their income and any expenses they want to deduct off their income tax," she said.

The Jackson Hewitt office in Palmdale was open until 9 p.m. on Wednesday.

If you need more time, you can get an extensions to file, but you must make that request to file no later than Wednesday. Filing for an extension does not mean you can extend the time if you you have to pay.

The best thing to do is to contact the IRS and work out a payment plan.

The U.S. Postal Service extended hours at many locations for Tax Day, and the rush was supposed to hit Wednesday night.

Brenda Ardito said she expected a long line at the Palmdale post office, but was pleasantly surprised.

"I was expecting to wait in line," she said.

"My husband's self-employed, and we always owe taxes," said Karen Schultz.

"So even though my returns have been done for two weeks, we wait until the 15th to put them in the mail, because why should we mail them the money any sooner than we have to."


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