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Deadline for taxes looming
Preparers, postal service ready for April 15 crunch
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For those still flipping through 2009 receipts and W-2 forms, there are just a few days left to file their taxes.

“It’s worse to not file than it is to file and wait to pay later. It just kills people,” said Kenneth Kurtz, a certified public accountant.

But getting everything together by Thursday can be tough for those who haven’t started.

“If they haven’t filed at this point and they’re not going to make the deadline, they need to think about filing an extension,” said Paul Belshaw of Rich Life Tax and Accounting Service on Park Hill Drive in Gainesville.

A Form 4868 gives people an extension on filing taxes, but not on paying them. It does, however, help late filers avoid fees.
Judy Pair, owner of a local H&R Block, said March was slow for returns, but April has already been busy.

“We get very, very busy at the end of January when W-2s first come out. Everyone thinks they have a refund and they want it right now,” she said.

“People in April come in thinking they have a balance due and they don’t want to know. In between, it gets pretty slow. It will continue to build from here until the 15th.”

Belshaw also said business has been brisk.

“It’s getting really busy right now,” he said. “People are coming in at the last minute.”

Most clients are getting refunds, according to Belshaw, especially because of certain tax credits that are a little higher than last year.

This year, Pair said there are lots of tax credits. Among the most common, she said, is the Making Work Pay credit, which can be up to $400 for individuals and $800 for working married couples.

Liberty Tax Service Office Manager Kristy Freitas said there is also the $8,000 federal homebuyers credit, a credit for purchasing a vehicle during certain months in 2009 and nontaxable unemployment compensation for federal returns.

When the time comes to mail tax returns, local post offices will be ready.

Anne Berger, Cumming branch postmaster, said supervisors will be on hand to help people fill out forms and make sure envelopes are date stamped.

“Our hours are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. We’ll take everybody who’s in line at 6 p.m.,” she said. “We’ll have our full staff ready and waiting. We’re not going to close the door on anybody.

Gainesville’s post office locations will not have extended hours on tax day this year. The Limestone Parkway office closes at 4:30 p.m. and the Green Street office closes at 5 p.m.

And for those last-minute filers. Many local tax offices will still be taking clients, but all the paperwork will need to be in order to get everything done by deadline.

Staff writer Shannon Casas contributed to this report.

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