Crunch time for taxpayers

Crunch time for taxpayers

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Tax offices all across the coast were extremely busy Monday. The deadline to file tax returns was at midnight, which meant it's crunch time for both filers and preparers.

Although many people now file their taxes online from home, there are still plenty who rely on those who file for a living. "Leave that stuff to the professionals in my opinion," said Mike Kranz while waiting on his return to be filed.

The professionals had a few extra days to take in returns this year; three to be exact. But that also meant three extra days for taxpayers to file.

"If it's April 15 or 18th or 20th you're still going to have last-minute filers regardless of the date," said tax preparer Walter Johnson. During his years in the tax business, Johnson has noticed that more and more people are filing later.

Some people blame the amount of paperwork it takes to file. "The three extra days helped a lot for sure," said taxpayer, Jason Bell.

According to Bell, filing taxes as your own boss can be a bit of a struggle. He said if a refund is expected, it's much easier to file early. "If you owe money you run around trying to find as many things as possible that you can write off," said Bell.

That's why Brian Miller is filing on the day of the deadline as well. "Just takes me forever to get my stuff together," said Miller.

Having an extra three days made all the difference for Miller. "I needed it this year. I was still receiving stuff in the mail two weeks ago that I needed for my taxes," he said.

Some of the people filing on the deadline had been regularly turning in their tax paperwork as they received it. Jane Anderson turned hers in back in March. "As long as she's got my taxes done on the due date I'm good," said Anderson after filing with her accountant.

But Johnson said it's never really a good idea to wait. "What people don't understand is that when there's a mad rush at the end it increases the chance of error," said Johnson.
And an error is the last thing taxpayers want, especially with the stress that filing already brings. "Hoping and praying that I don't owe," said Brenda Beabers while waiting to present her accountant with a folder of collected paperwork.

According to the IRS, more than five million people were expected to file their returns Monday.

Copyright 2016 WLOX. All rights reserved.