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Tax deadline is April 18 this year; some stores offer deals that day
Taxes due later thanks to April 15 falling on weekend, D.C. holiday on Monday
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Donna Hollingsworth, a tax preparer at Jackson Hewitt in Gainesville, points out deductions some truck drivers can receive if they file their taxes correctly. Hollingsworth says it is important to have all paperwork together from work expenses not paid by the employer, medical bills not paid by insurance and other miscellaneous paperwork that would be helpful when filing taxes. - photo by Erin O. Smith

Tax Day is fast approaching for those who haven’t filed, even if it is a few days later this year.

Taxes are due by April 18, thanks to April 15 being on a Saturday and Washington, D.C., celebrating Emancipation Day on April 17, the first weekday after the actual holiday of April 16.

Donna Hollingsworth, a tax preparer at Jackson Hewitt on Dawsonville Highway in Gainesville, said many people are scared they’ll end up owing more when they file their taxes. But Hollingsworth said more than 90 percent of people end up getting a refund.

Brenda Clark, a senior tax analyst with IRS certification at the H&R Block in Sherwood Plaza, said everyone should make sure they have their interest statements, Social Security statements and all W-2s for their earnings when they file their taxes. It’s also important to have the Social Security card and dates of birth for any dependents, Clark added.

In the case of married couples filing jointly, both spouses must be present, Clark said.

Hollingsworth said some people think the IRS won’t do anything if they don’t file their taxes, something she said isn’t true at all. She added that the federal government tries to make paying as easy as possible, even allowing for payment in installments.

“It would be much worse not to file,” Hollingsworth said.

Hollingsworth stressed the importance of having all necessary paperwork if taking an itemized deduction.

The federal government will allow extensions up until Oct. 16 for those who need more time to gather paperwork, Hollingsworth added.

Hollingsworth said Jackson Hewitt is expecting a crowd Monday and Tuesday and is opening from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. those two days after closing for Easter Sunday. Jackson Hewitt is usually open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Clark said it’s been “extremely steady” at the Sherwood Plaza H&R Block this week, with a lot of regulars already having filed their taxes or made appointments.

And once people get their taxes filed, some companies are offering deals to mark the occasion. Some of those include:

• Schlotzsky’s Deli, 302 Broad St. SE, Gainesville: free small original sandwich with the purchase of a medium fountain drink and a bag of chips on April 18 only

• Great American Cookies, Lakeshore Mall, 150 Pearl Nix Parkway, Gainesville, free birthday cake cookie, no purchase required, on April 18 only

• Sonny’s BBQ, 3445 Mundy Mill Road, Oakwood, half price sweet & smokey or house dry-rubbed rib dinners, which includes two side items and homemade bread, on April 18 only

• Kona Ice of Greater Gainesville will show up at local businesses and give away shaved ice on April 18. The local Kona Facebook page will provide further details in the coming days.

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