Three days to go

It's T-minus three days. And counting. State, city and federal taxes are due April 17.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 24, 2010

It's T-minus three days. And counting.

State, city and federal taxes are due April 17.

Why the extra two days before the filing deadline?

This year April 15, the regular day, falls on a Sunday. The following day is Emancipation Day in Washington D.C. It seems that in 1862, President Lincoln freed the slaves in the nation's capital nine months before he freed them in the rest of the country. So we get an extra day to file our taxes.

If the extra day isn't enough, you can receive a filing extension, but you still must pay your estimated taxes by the 17th.

In fact, if you underestimate your taxes, and file for an extension, your additional taxes will be charged a late payment fee and interest, said Aaron Ortner of the Liberty Tax franchise in Norwalk.

Paradoxically, Ortner said, most people who do file for an extension are the people who are underestimating their taxes. People who are going to get a refund tend to file early they want their refund now.

Of course, if you do get a refund after filing for an extension, the IRS does not offer you interest or a late payment fee. "That would be fair," Jeff Savage, a local CPA, said.

The other thing to remember, Ortner said, is that Tuesday is also the last day to make a contribution to your IRA to reduce your 2006 taxes.

Chris Knople of Fast Cash Express Place said there's no reason to leave your taxes to the last minute. They're not so hard if you just "sit down and take your time with it." Plus, he said, even the most computer-illiterate person can follow the tax software that is available.

And if you want a professional to prepare your taxes, he said, don't be shy. First, "there's no shame in owing," he said, and many places can still take care of your returns.

Many places even offer a free estimate of how much you'll owe or if you'll get a refund.

But time is running short. Savage reports he's been sold out since last week.

His advice: "Get them done."

Additional stories with tax-related information appear today on Page A-3