Tax preparers hit crunch time
Posted April 2, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — Early April is prime time for the tax preparers at Jackson Hewitt Tax Service offices around the country as people get their paperwork in order ahead of the April 15 filing deadline.
"Some days we have two and three people walking in at the same time, so it's been a very unusual tax season," said Michelle Hartley, who works in the Jackson Hewitt Raleigh office.
She offered these tips:
- Make sure to include all income from 2012. "If you're not sure, you can call the IRS and get a free transcript," Hartley said.
- Include any tuition credits or deductions on both on federal and state returns. Even those who filed taxes before their credit was approved can amend their return to get that credit. "A lot people sent their returns without the credit, so that may be a reason to amend," she said.
- Know how changes in tax law affect you and plan ahead. In the past, filers could deduct medical expenses above 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income. Starting with the 2013 tax year, people younger than 65 can deduct expenses only above 10 percent.
No matter whether you use a professional, file online or use the old pen-and-paper method, Hartley recommends a double-check. A little error can cost a lot.
"It really does pay if you're not sure to have somebody look at," she said. "The IRS usually isn't going to tell you they owe you more money."
As of March 25, the IRS had processed more than 77 million tax returns, with an average refund of $2,827.