KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) — The April 18 tax deadline is inching closer, and many people haven’t filed yet.  

As many people are waiting until the last minute to file, experts say there are a number of misconceptions and misinformation circulating on social media. 

“Too many times we’ll see people come in here and say, ‘oh I saw it on Facebook, I saw it on Tik Tok’,” says Charrisa Rand, a Jackson Hewitt Tax Service franchise owner.

The IRS has issued a warning for anyone looking for last minute help to stop turning to social media.

“One of the biggest misconceptions is the things you can deduct on your taxes. It’s not as many deductions as social media leads you to believe,” says Rand. 

Experts suggest seeking an educated tax professional. Their job is to sift through everything, understand your tax situation, and prepare the data for your return. 

“One of the misconceptions too, when people come into our office, ‘Oh my tax return is super, super easy. It’s just a couple of things.’ It’s not nearly as easy as people believe their tax return is,” states Rand. “Because there are so many credits that you could be eligible for.”

Rand is in her 17th tax season. 

“We have a process where you come in, we’re going to get your taxes started. Because the most important thing that we need to do is we need to kind of understand what your tax situation is. One of the things I do is when I sit down with someone who’s started a business, or someone I’ve never worked with before, I usually ask them to tell me their story, tell me their history. And that allows me to get a picture of their entire tax situation,” describes Rand. “We get the big picture, and then we bring you back in, and we sit down, and we review everything, and then we do what’s called a finalization of tax return. We finalize your taxes, and yes, we can still get you in before the deadline.” 

If you haven’t filed yet, consider filing for an extension.

“For people that have not filed yet, one of the most important things that they need to understand is you can file an extension, but it does not give you and extended time to pay your taxes. It only gives you an extended time to file. So, there’s a misconception there,” says Rand. “If you think you need to file an extension, just file an extension. Pay whatever you think your tax liability is going to be.”

If you’ve already filed and made a mistake, a tax professional can help.

“One of the things that keeps us the busiest is correcting tax returns that people have filed online on their own, and they didn’t understand that they were eligible for credits,” states Rand.

Rand says sometimes she’ll find credits that people didn’t file for, and she’ll go back and do an amendment to correct it.

“Amended tax returns are a great way to correct a tax return that was filed incorrectly or you maybe missed out on some credits,” states Rand.

She says the IRS will typically issue out an amended refund in about 13 weeks, but she’s seen it take up to a year due to the IRS backlog caused by COVID. 

Rand also says don’t be surprised if your refund is not as big this year. Most things have returned to pre-COVID. However, she says don’t expect to receive your check in a certain amount of time. 

“Prior to the pandemic, refunds were issued in about 21 days. After the pandemic, after all the stimulus payments, there’s really no amount of time that I would guarantee that someone can receive their refund. We’re seeing a lot more identity theft. So people are getting letters from the IRS asking they verify their identity,” says Rand. “Due to the increased identity theft, people that are filing online, there are so many targeters that are trying to get their data. Because any time there’s money involved, you’re going to have scammers trying to file tax returns.”

You can always check the status of your tax refund on the IRS website. 

The deadline to file is usually April 15, but this year, that’s a Saturday. Monday, April 17 is a government holiday. Therefore, the deadline is Tuesday,  April 18.

The Jackson Hewitt office at 4068 Wilmington Pk. in Kettering is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. You can call 937-291-1040 and talk with a live local professional. The office is open year around.