Tax preparer: “More late filers than ever”

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Tax day is less than two weeks away. Liberty Tax in Fort Wayne said it’s noticing a trend from this year’s busy season.

“I would say this year probably more than any other year, we’re seeing a lot of the later filers. That could be a good thing. That’s a sign of a little bit of a stronger economy. Some is due to the complexity of the credits that came out and people are just unsure, but we have many new clients coming in at this late stage,” Financial Operational Manager for Liberty Tax April Johnson said.

The main requirement causing confusion is the Affordable Care Act. This is the first year for it to affect taxes.  Those who aren’t covered should expect to pay a penalty.

“It’s really on an individual basis and depending on your own financial structure and things like that. The low end is probably the $95, and I would say probably the highest that I’ve personally seen is more like a $1500 penalty,” Johnson said.

Tax fraud is also a common concern. However, it’s one that Johnson said both the government and taxpayers are paying closer attention to.

“I think that everybody is starting to have this awareness and starting to take some proactive instead of reactive approaches to this,” Johnson said.

If people haven’t filed because they don’t think they qualify, Johnson said think again.

“Don’t ever assume that you are not eligible for a refund,” Johnson said. “There are some credits out there, hidden credits, that takes a tax professional with experience to be able to dig some of those up.”

Johnson also said it’s important to bring as much information as possible.

“Any information that you feel would help contribute to the accuracy of your tax return, there is no such thing as too much information,” Johnson said.

When it comes to online software programs versus working with a professional service, Johnson recommends taking your time and looking out for any possible glitches.

“There are some great softwares out there. In this day in age, I would just caution you to be careful. If it’s even questionable, stop, don’t do it. Get the information, do the validating, and do your due diligence to make sure you’re getting the right information to correctly file,” Johnson said.

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