Taxpayers scramble to file returns on time

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- One more day - that's all you have to file your taxes and avoid penalties by the IRS if you owe money. You can still get free help filing your return or your extension.

Most taxpayers getting free help at Neighborhood Tax Centers the day before the filing deadline waited for a specific reason.

"Because I always owe them," taxpayer Clayton Griffin said.

Griffin will be sending about $150 to the IRS, but he beat the deadline. The IRS trained are seeing a rush of last-minute filers, and it is not unexpected.

"As soon as Easter was over, people were coming to the Tax Centers, it's kind of a regular cycle," said Cristina Cove with Neighborhood Centers.

Cove expects a full house at their 16 Houston locations starting at 9am Wednesday. She says some of those filing for extensions are surprised to learn they still have to make a payment to the IRS on April 15.

"That surprises people because sometimes they say, 'Why do I have to pay a penalty? I filed for an extension.' There are no extension to pay after April 15," Cove said.

If you are filing late, fill out Form 4868, estimate what you owe and send the check to the IRS to avoid interest and penalties.

"It's possible that you do not have the full, but pay in as much as you can with the extension," Houston CPA Bob Martin said,

Martin says if you owe under $10,000 and have a five-year history of filing on time, you can get a payment plan from the IRS if the agency determines you do not have the money to pay in full right away.

"They will automatically let you pay out the amount over three years," he said.

Remember, most post offices will not be open late tomorrow if you are mailing in your return.

The Post Office on Franklin street is scheduled to stop taking mail in returns by 8pm, so time is running out. null
Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.