Local News

Tax time running out

Posted April 11, 2010 7:28 p.m. EDT
Updated April 12, 2010 4:56 p.m. EDT

— The April 15 deadline for filing state and federal income taxes arrives this week. For people still trying to complete tax returns, help is available throughout the Triangle area.

At H&R Block, 4532 Capital Blvd. in Raleigh, last-minute filers got tax questions answered Sunday. Many families seeking on-the-spot tax preparation came prepared for a wait.

"The kids usually go where we go so we have different little gadgets and things for them to do while we are taking care of business,” tax filer Beth Plumeri said while waiting for assistance at H&R Block.

Tax preparers with whom WRAL News spoke with Sunday said the economy has had an impact on this year's tax season.

“We noticed a lot of people coming in, and they lost their jobs this year,” said Jim Morgan, with H&R Block.

Morgan said a lot of those people are facing stiff penalties for tapping into retirement funds early.

"Sometimes that pushes folks into a slightly higher tax bracket than they've had in the past,” Morgan explained.

Some taxpayers are rushing to take advantage of the government's first-time homebuyer tax credit. Buyers with a house under contract by April 30 are eligible for a tax credit up to $8,000.

People who are not ready to file a tax return can request a six-month extension.

"That is an extension to file the tax return, not an extension to pay the balance due. If they do not pay the balance due, they are subject to penalties and interest," Morgan said.

As more taxpayers turn to online filing, U.S. Postal Service officials have reduced the number of post offices opening late on April 15.

The Raleigh Main Post Office, at 1 Floretta Place, will accept stamped and prepared tax returns until midnight, but retail service will not be available after 5 p.m.

Electronic tax filing is also the fastest way to get refunds, according to the Internal Revenue Service.