Thursday, September 20, 2018
Business

H&R Block, other firms open through Easter Sunday for last-minute tax filers

Procrastinators, grab your Cadbury Creme Eggs and rejoice. Taxpayers get three extra days to submit their taxes this year, and all H&R Block branches are open through Easter Sunday to help last-minute filers.

"We want to make sure people come in and get what's due to them," Riley Holmes III, St. Petersburg H&R Block office manager and tax advisor, said.

And they're not alone. Many Liberty Tax Service and Jackson Hewitt Tax Services branches are also staying open Sunday.

The usual April 15 filing deadline was extended this year because it falls on a weekend and also bumps up against Emancipation Day, which falls on a Sunday. Emancipation Day is observed in Washington, D.C., as a federal holiday the following Monday, which pushes the deadline back to Tuesday. That gives taxpayers until midnight April 18 to file their taxes or file for an extension. Check with your local post office for postmark cutoff times.

It's been eight years since Easter Sunday came within days of Tax Day.

Holmes' St. Petersburg branch is one of the 10,000 H&R Block locations around the country that will be open on Easter Sunday, including more than 50 in Tampa Bay. Last year, 41 million people waited until April to file their taxes, according to the IRS, and an additional four million are expected to do the same this round. H&R Block prepares one in seven tax returns nationally, a company spokesperson said.

"April is a very busy month for taxpayers," Holmes said adding that the stretched weekend hours will help them accommodate all late-comers. "If the Easter bunny is coming to file his taxes," he said, "we will file his taxes."

While spending Easter Sunday crunching tax numbers may not be as festive as an egg hunt, Holmes urges taxpayers to hop to filing as soon as they can to avoid mistakes and getting slapped with fees.

Submitting taxes late adds a 5 percent fee to the amount owed, and not paying owed taxes at all adds a half-percent fee.

Still, be sure to take your time with the paperwork. A few of the most common mistakes Holmes sees are taxpayers writing a Social Security number incorrectly and forgetting to include funds from a side job. Many people, too, overlook credits and deductions they can claim because they rushed to meet the deadline or didn't realize they were eligible.

Tuesday is also an especially important deadline for 2013 tax returns — yes, as in taxes from four years ago. For those who haven't filed their 2013 paperwork or haven't collected their 2013 tax return, April 18 is the final date to do so. According to the IRS, there is currently $1 billion in unclaimed funds from that year.

Worried about being able to pay the taxes you owe? The IRS has several options for payment plans, such as installments or a short-term extension.

If worse comes to worst, filing an extension can buy extra time, and it waives the 5 percent late filing fee. But do pay what you think you owe even when filing an extension to avoid the half-percent fee for failing to pay.

Contact Malena Carollo at [email protected] Follow @malenacarollo.

Comments
Could Trump starve a Tampa Bay transit project of federal funds?

Could Trump starve a Tampa Bay transit project of federal funds?

ST. PETERSBURG — The Central Avenue Bus Rapid Transit line has succeeded where other Tampa Bay transit projects have failed. The project aimed at connecting downtown to the beaches has avoided anti-transit sentiment while securing money and support f...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Tampa General nurses record the last heartbeats of dying patients, making a family memory

Tampa General nurses record the last heartbeats of dying patients, making a family memory

TAMPA — As John Reisinger waited with family at Tampa General Hospital, grief settled in like a fog. So some of the details are hazy.But he remembers the moment when three women in white lab coats approached him.The day before, his niece, Jessica Rau...
Published: 09/21/18
Former Tampa Bay exec and Chico’s CEO Shelley Broader discusses changing retail in St. Pete visit

Former Tampa Bay exec and Chico’s CEO Shelley Broader discusses changing retail in St. Pete visit

ST. PETERSBURG — When Shelley Broader worked in Tampa Bay, she was turning around a failing grocery store.It was the early 2000s. Amazon wasn’t a powerhouse yet, people were still on Myspace and no one was ordering groceries online. On Thursday, she ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
St. Pete approves biggest budget in city history: $717 million

St. Pete approves biggest budget in city history: $717 million

ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council blessed the largest budget in city history on Thursday night, adopting a $717 million budget that starts Oct. 1.The 2019 budget is about $200 million more than the current budget. That massive increase was driven by ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Marijuana use is now as common among baby boomers as it is among teens, federal data show

Marijuana use is now as common among baby boomers as it is among teens, federal data show

Talk to your grandparents about marijuana - before somebody else does.The latest release of a massive federal drug use survey shows monthly marijuana use has skyrocketed among older Americans. The past decade, in fact, has seen a sea change in the de...
Published: 09/20/18
Tampa Bay’s fastest selling used car is a Prius. Do you drive the slowest selling car?

Tampa Bay’s fastest selling used car is a Prius. Do you drive the slowest selling car?

Apparently, a lot of people in Tampa Bay are trying to get their hands on a Toyota Prius. An analysis by iSeeCars shows that the eco-friendly car is the fastest-selling used vehicle in the area, averaging 19.2 days on the market. That might not be su...
Published: 09/20/18
Cargill recalls more beef on E.coli worries from Colorado plant tied to previous recall

Cargill recalls more beef on E.coli worries from Colorado plant tied to previous recall

Cargill Inc. is recalling more than 132,600 pounds of ground beef possibly contaminated with harmful E. coli bacteria that food-safety investigators believe has already caused 17 illnesses and one death.The beef originated at a Cargill slaughterhouse...
Published: 09/20/18
Colorado-based alternative fuel company to hire 45 at new $10 million factory in Plant City

Colorado-based alternative fuel company to hire 45 at new $10 million factory in Plant City

PLANT CITY — Alternative fuel firm MLMC Florida will open a $10 million factory near the Hillsborough-Polk county line and will create 45 new jobs paying an average salary of at least $58,383 a year, officials said Thursday.Based in Parker, Colo., ML...
Published: 09/20/18
Publix has pumpkin spice everything on sale, and other deals this week in coupons (Sept. 20-26)

Publix has pumpkin spice everything on sale, and other deals this week in coupons (Sept. 20-26)

Sometimes, the coupon gods align. And, man, that’s beautiful because everyone loves so-cheap-it’s-almost-free stuff.Vegetarians rejoice: This week’s steal of a deal is for you. Publix has Quorn "chick’n" nuggets and patties on BOGO (buy one, get one)...
Published: 09/20/18
Homes sales jump in Pinellas and Hillsborough in August after months of declines

Homes sales jump in Pinellas and Hillsborough in August after months of declines

Home sales in August hit their highest levels in a year in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties as prices throughout the Tampa Bay area continued to rise. In Pinellas, sales of single-family homes jumped nearly 7 percent from the same month a year ago....
Published: 09/20/18