Monday, April 18th: Tax filing deadline, penalties loom for procrastinators

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Augusta, GA (WJBF) – The Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, D.C. gave everyone 3 extra days to file their taxes but some people still procrastinated until the very last day.

Aisha Lee is one of the roughly five million people expected to sit down to file their taxes on this April 18th deadline. “Procrastination has been my friend lately,” said the servicewoman, who recently began serving in the reserves after years of active duty. “I don’t like filing my taxes.”

Lee says for her it’s an obligation she’s never motivated to fulfill.

“Being in a certain tax bracket and being single, and not having property or owning property, you find yourself at a definite disadvantage come tax season.”

Whatever the reason, H&R Block tax advisor Stephen Harvey has the same answer.

“We just want to get everybody done on time,” said Harvey, who’s been in the tax business for decades. “If you don’t file on time, the penalty is actually ten times worse for failure to file than it is for failure to pay. So we encourage everybody to get your taxes done, get the return in. And if you can’t, file the extension.”

The IRS anticipates more than 13 Million will be applying for an extension. “Remember, the extension is an extension to file your tax return, not an extension to pay, said Harvey.

Whether you file now, or apply to file later — it may not pay to wait any longer.

“Don’t wait until the last minute. It doesn’t benefit you, it only causes more stress,” said Lee.

You can file your return online until midnight.

Also, many professional tax experts like Stephen Harvey’s H&R Block on Bobby Jones Expressway have extended hours for those last minute stragglers.

Visit the IRS website for more information.

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