Taxpayers rush to file before deadline

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Jim Newton makes no bones about why he waited until the last day possible to seek an extension to file his income tax return.

Tax associate Toni Roy (left) helps Martha Mendenhall file her taxes at H&R Block. Mendenhall, who works as a caretaker, said she has never come this close to the deadline before.   EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Tax associate Toni Roy (left) helps Martha Mendenhall file her taxes at H&R Block. Mendenhall, who works as a caretaker, said she has never come this close to the deadline before.

“I’m lazy,” he said with a laugh. “I just have always put it off for as long as I can.”

Newton is one of many customers who came through the Wrightsboro Road H&R Block on Tuesday, waiting until the April 17 deadline to file their returns or extensions. Most taxpayers file before the last day, but H&R Block senior tax advisor J.R. Stewart said deadline day is always a busy one.

“It’s always this way,” she said. “This is how tax day goes, and we’re used to it.”

Stewart has been preparing taxes with H&R Block for 15 years. She said the people who wait until the last minute to file usually do so for a variety of reasons, from procrastination to a delay in receiving certain financial statements. Nearly all of the last-minute filers owe the federal government money, she said.

“They really don’t want to give the IRS money any sooner than they have to,” she said.

Martha Mendenhall was filing her return Tuesday, and she said she has never come this close to the deadline before. She works as a caretaker, and the time needed to file her taxes wasn’t there until the deadline day.

“I have to do it when I find time,” she said. “I usually don’t procrastinate.”

Stewart said tax season doesn’t have to be a painful ordeal. She said she has more than 400 clients who come back and see her each year.

“That’s the best part, seeing my clients,” she said. “The money is just a bonus.”


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