Just in time: Texomans seek help filing their taxes before deadline

Local News

Today is April 15th. Let’s hope you haven’t put off or forgot about getting your taxes filed by the end of the day.

As of last Friday, the IRS reported about 50 million people still need to file. 

It was a busy Monday morning for local volunteers with the VITA program, on the day when millions of Americans stopped procrastinating and found out how much money the federal government owed them or how much they owed the government.

“I think there’s a lot of reasons,” VITA Program Director Genevieve Anderson said, regarding why she believes people put off filing their taxes for so long.

“I’ve had two or three that have come in for health issues and whatnot,” Anderson said. “And those people, we really understand, but there’s a lot of people who just feel: ‘I always wait ’til the end,'” Anderson said. “But not everybody’s going to be able to jump through hoops and help you at the end.”

The VITA program has helped approximately 3400 people this tax season, totaling between $4.8 and $5 million in refunds. It’s also the first filing season under President Trump’s new tax code that Anderson said caused some anxiety.

“People are a little spooked by it. They don’t understand everything that happened,” Anderson said.

Jasmine Jones has been getting her taxes done by Anderson for several years and explained why she waited until April 15th.

“I actually had a break in my schedule, so I was in town from Dallas,” Jones said. So, I was like: ‘Okay. I know it’s the last day, but I trust no one else with my taxes.”

Another reason Jones relies on VITA is because she works multiple jobs, causing various amounts of money to come out of her paychecks, which can make doing her taxes difficult.

“I love extra money. Who doesn’t? And it’s like, that’s a lot of W-2’s to manage or 1099’s and I’m like let’s let the professionals do it,” Jones said.

 As far as those taking their time this year, Anderson has some friendly advice for next year.

“You need to be a little considerate and try to come in earlier, so that if you have problems, we can help you with those problems,” Anderson said.

If you won’t be able to file by today,  you can file an extension. However, Anderson said if you owe money, that’s something you cannot get an extension on. Late payment could result in a penalty and interest.

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