Tax time is here once again

Published 12:30 am Tuesday, April 15, 2008

NATCHEZ — Take a deep breath because tax season is almost over and taxpayers will be rewarded with a rebate check.

Today is the last day to file taxes and the government has set up a 2008 stimulus rebate where money will automatically be sent to those who had an income of at least $3,000.

Individuals can receive up to $600 and taxpayers who file a joint return can receive up to $1,200.

Email newsletter signup

Certified public accountants at Silas Simmons have been working overtime to assist taxpayers.

Benny Jeansonne, accountant for Silas Simmons, said accountants have been working long hours the past week or so.

Sam Mosby, also an accountant for Silas Simmons, said this can mean between 60 to 65 hours a week.

Both men said they have helped many people prepare their taxes.

What mainly trips accountants up when it comes to helping file taxes, is people don’t always bring the right information.

“They’re not sure what to bring us and what not to bring us,” Jeansonne said.

To this, the accountants advise organization and advise against procrastination.

“Be organized,” Mosby said as advice for next year.

For those who may have procrastinated this year and just need a little bit more time, an extension can be applied for.

It’s an automatic six-month extension, Jeansonne said.

Mosby said all that is required is filling out a one-page form.

There are no specific qualifications, Jeansonne said.

“You don’t have to give a reason,” he said.

The only deal breaker the extension poses is that its due 1 p.m. today if an applicant makes a hard copy application.

Filing for an extension online can be done until midnight.

Extension applications can found on the IRS Web site.

Tax preparers at Taxes by Cathey have seen around 1,300 clients this year, owner Cathey Kennon said, most of which came in early and did not procrastinate.

“Normally we don’t have a lot of procrastinators,” Kennon said. “They know they need to come in.”

Kennon said if a taxpayer does not apply for an extension, he or she will suffer monetary punishment for filing late.

A person who files late would be required to pay a penalty of 10 percent of the tax money they owed.

If taxes are not filed after 60 days, the payer would have to pay a minimum of $100, she said.

Kennon also had tips for preparing for the next tax season— be organized.

She suggested keeping all tax-related paperwork in folders on a month-to-month basis.

“Then it’s easy to go through,” she said.

She said tax help can be found on the IRS Web site.

But nothing is better than receiving face-to-face help, she said.

“If you’ve simply got W2s, that’s fine,” she said. “If you’ve got anything else you don’t need to be doing them yourselves.”