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Not much time left before April 15 income tax deadline

JAY SOWERS | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Jacqulyn Williams, right, local coordinator of the AARP Tax-Aide program, shows Jasmine Blissett what information she needs to fill in on her tax forms on Wednesday morning at George W. Armstrong Library in Natchez. AARP Tax-Aide had been offering tax filing assistance every Wednesday beginning in February, with yesterday's session being the last one of the year.
JAY SOWERS | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Jacqulyn Williams, right, local coordinator of the AARP Tax-Aide program, shows Jasmine Blissett what information she needs to fill in on her tax forms on Wednesday morning at George W. Armstrong Library in Natchez. AARP Tax-Aide had been offering tax filing assistance every Wednesday beginning in February, with yesterday’s session being the last one of the year.

NATCHEZ — Death and taxes are unavoidable. While none of us knows when we’ll die, your taxes definitely are due Monday.

The deadline to file income taxes is fast approaching, and local tax professionals say now is the time to file returns electronically or request more time to file from the IRS.

Silas Simmons LLP partner Wes Gore said with just three business days left to file, he recommends people who have not started their tax returns may have only one option.

“At this point, if (you) haven’t started, the best thing to do would be to get an extension,” Gore said. “That’s what we’re recommending to people.”

Gore said many people have a misconception about what an extension actually does — and doesn’t do for taxpayers.

“An extension is (more) time to file; it is not an extension to pay,” he said. “That’s a thing a lot of people don’t understand.”

Those seeking an extension should calculate what they believe they owe to the IRS and pay it when they file for an extension to avoid late fees or penalties, said Peyton Cavin, a certified public accountant with Silas Simmons.

A tax professional can assist with filing an extension, or an online one can be filed at irs.gov.

Cavin said Monday is also the deadline to claim a refund for 2009. Anyone who has not filed income taxes for 2009 can still claim a refund if they file by Monday.

“After that, they forfeit any refunds,” he said.