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Don't wait to file your taxes, experts say

IRS not postponing tax filing, payment deadline of July 15
Posted at 6:50 PM, Mar 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-19 20:17:55-04

BELL COUNTY — Tax season is in full swing and many of us have yet to file our taxes for 2020.

The deadline to file your taxes has been extended this year but that doesn’t mean you should wait until the last minute.

The deadline to file your taxes is normally April 15th. Due to various reasons, including the devastating winter storm last month, that date has been extended to June 15th.

”It’s a couple of things that throw it off. Obviously, there is COVID, you have that weather a while back. The IRS wasn’t excepting returns very early so a lot of people waited to get their stuff in,” said Derland Bahr, CPA.

There is also the added work of sending out stimulus checks that is slowing the IRS down, leaving the chance of missing even the extended deadline possible if you file by mail.

”Anything that needs to be handled by mail is terrible right now because of the IRS. A lot of agents are working from home. There is a lot of paperwork going there and it’s my understanding that there’s envelopes sitting there in their offices unopened,” said Bahr.

It's things like these that has one Killeen taxpayer filing his taxes as soon as he can.

”I try not to procrastinate on certain things and dealing with taxes, that’s one thing I don’t like to procrastinate on,” Leo Gukeisen, a retired Army veteran said.

Spending 27 years in the Army showed Gukeisen the hurdles some soldiers go through to file taxes, and this year’s delays could make it even worse.

”I would always tell my troops, as soon as the door opens to the tax filing office, you need to be in line because there could be something if they lived in a different state with their tax laws and whatever,” said Gukeisen.

Waiting to file also raises the risk for identity theft.

”Sometimes people file and someone has already filed using their social security number. So, if you get it in early, that’s less likely to happen to you,” said Bahr.

Tax professionals recommend some sort of e-filing system to file your taxes and to do so sooner rather than later.