Tax Day deadline closes in

By Krystal Allan - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It's what everybody who hasn't filed their taxes tends to say at this point.

"It sneaked up on me," says Judy Lewis of Biloxi.

Though Judy and George Lewis are cutting it close, they managed to avoid the chaos of a crowded office Monday afternoon. For now, traffic at the H&R Block in Biloxi's Edgewater Village tends to slow down mid-afternoon to early evening.

When you come in, Office Leader Ed Jones suggests bringing everything you think you might need to file. Your list should include items like your W2s, social security card, correct birth dates [for children], mortgage interest statements and property taxes.

As a result of the stimulus, those who file this year might see some extra money.

"Anyone who purchases a home after December 31st through this year gets an $8,000 refundable credit toward the purchase of that house. As long as they didn't own a house in the last three years, they're eligible for the credit," says Jones.

And homeowners aren't the only ones who could see more money.

"If people receive social security disability or SSI (Supplemental Security Income), they will get $250 from social security as part of the stimulus," says Jones.

This year there's also a rule change when it comes to property taxes.

"In the past, only those who itemized deductions got to deduct property taxes," Jones said.

Now, those who don't itemize deductions, but pay property taxes can add their property tax to their standard deduction. Married couples can add up to $1,000, while singles can add up to $500 in property taxes to their standard deduction.

If you subtract a bigger standard deduction from your income, in the end, less income is taxed, which could put more money in your pocket.

With tax day quickly approaching, Jones has this advice for those still trying to figure out the best way to get their taxes done.

"Just get it here and get it done cause we've only got two and a half days."

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