DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – With the tax filing deadline being April 18, many people across the US are scrambling to ensure they get their taxes done on time.
Jackson Hewitt Tax Services Chief Tax Information Officer Mark Steber said that rushing to get your taxes complete last minute could lead to serious mistakes.
“If you leave off an income item or a taxable item, trust me the IRS will find you. The bigger crime is if you leave off a benefit that you’re due that you could get a bigger refund from and it will not be fixed,” said Steber.
Steber said he and his team conducted a survey that found 55% of Americans who leave off tax benefits while filing taxes think the IRS will catch the mistakes and give their money back, but that’s not the case. “One million people will forfeit one billion dollars in unclaimed tax refunds, and that doesn’t even count the off tax return or overlooked benefits.”
A six-month automatic extension to file taxes does exist, but Steber cautions people on relying on this. “It’s in the tax code they’ll allow you to file a 48 68 and extend your taxes until the middle of October. Well two things on that, it’s simple an extension of time to file your paperwork. It’s not an extension of time to pay your taxes.”
For people who either forget or just don’t file their taxes, this could also be costly. “Pay attention to the deadline. They’re there for a reason. More importantly there’s some pretty teaky penalties and interests that can in many cases be greater than the tax liability or the cost to file on time if you let it languish, and you miss the deadline, and you don’t pay, and all that goes with that,” said Steber.
If you decide to wait until April 18 to do your taxes, Steber said organization is key. However, he encourages people to check with tax pros now and make an appointment, because it might be difficult to schedule an appointment on the deadline date.