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Tax Professional Has Last-Minute Advice for Procrastinators

Today (Monday) is the deadline for filing your taxes. Here are some last-minute tips for procrastinators.
Today (Monday) is the deadline for filing your taxes. Here are some last-minute tips for procrastinators.
April 15, 2013

AUGUSTA, Maine - For some Mainers, this will be a busy day, gathering all the stuff they need to file their federal taxes. The deadline is midnight, and for those who waited until the last minute, it's often a mad dash to pull the appropriate documents together and fill in the blanks.

According to Marshall Mennenga, owner of Mennenga Tax and Financial, procrastinators usually make the same mistake every year.

"Haste makes waste, and people that procrastinate and wait 'til the last minute to file their tax returns - we see it over and over and over - they don't take all their deductions they're entitled to," the tax expert said. "They don't have the time to get together what they should be putting together."

Mennenga said quite a few people end up getting far smaller refunds than they could, because they just file the 1040EZ form. He says if you can take the time to work through the longer Form 1040 and figure out your deductions, you could wind up paying quite a bit less or getting a bigger refund.

There is also a sort of last resort for procrastinators.

"If you need some extra time, take that extra time," Mennenga advised. "You can file an extension; you can take until October 15th."

You can download the form for an extension, which is form 4868, and all the other tax forms at IRS.gov.

Mennenga warned that even with filing for an extension, you still have to make a "best guess" at what you owe and send it in, or run the risk of paying a penalty.

"If you are going to owe money, you should pay what you think you're going to owe by April 15th so you're not penalized on that," he advised.

According to Mennenga, the era of electronic filing has pretty much done away with the last-second midnight rush to the Post Office.

And he added that it's not too late to resolve to be better organized for next year's tax deadline.


Mike Clifford, Public News Service - ME