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Last day for filing taxes on time

By Staff | Apr 15, 2009

For the absent-minded and procrastinators and those who just do not like paying taxes, April 15 is a day to dread.
Today is the last day to file income tax returns for 2008 without incurring penalties without filing for an extension, and many who waited until the last minute will descend on the area’s tax preparers to beat the deadline.
Tax preparers typically see a rush as the deadline nears, but Jessie Casanova-Maldonado, marketing director for the Coralwood branch of Liberty Tax Services, said her office is seeing more people file closer to the April 15 deadline.
“This year we’ve definitely seen an increase in people filing later,” she said.
Casanova-Maldonado blamed the phenomenon on people not knowing their tax status.
“Some people just weren’t sure of their situation, some people weren’t sure if they were going to have to pay,” she said.
Of course, there is also the general tendency to procrastinate.
“There’s always people who tend to put things off,” Casanova-Maldonado added.
Not everyone, however, has seen an increase in tax traffic this year.
Cheryl Wilcox, district manager for the 22 H&R Block offices in Cape Coral, Fort Myers and North Fort Myers, said her offices are swamped, but not unusually so.
“We are busy, we have procrastinators that are coming in. It’s probably very similar to last year,” she said.
The nature of the tax season varies in Southwest Florida year to year, Wilcox added, because many snowbirds wait until the Easter holiday to migrate back north.
“With Easter later this year, many are still around,” she said.
For those running late in filing their returns, some post offices will be open later today. The Cape Coral Central Post office, located at 1030 S.E. Ninth Ave., will be open until 8 p.m.
A mobile unit at the Fort Myers Processing and Distribution Center, located at 14080 Jetport Loop Road, will also offer extended hours, remaining open from 5 p.m.-midnight.
Both Casanova-Maldonado and Wilcox said their offices will be open as long as is needed.
“We’re here until the last customer leaves,” Casanova-Maldonado said.
“We’ll stay open as long as we have clients,” Wilcox said.