Texas Living

Time to File: Last Minute Tax Prep Tips

By Glenda Vosburgh 4.16.13

Native Texan President Lyndon B. Johnson aptly described the feelings most folks have about taxes when he said, “In 1790 the nation which had fought a revolution against taxation without representation discovered that some of its citizens weren’t much happier about taxation with representation.”

And it appears that a large number of us aren’t overjoyed about dealing with the IRS, roughly 27 percent of the nation’s taxpayers, including many Texans, typically wait until the last day to file their return. Time is short, but you still have options for getting your return filed on time.

  • File online at IRS e-file. If your income is below $57,000, complete your return and e-file via the Internal Revenue Service (www.irs.gov) website. It’s free.
  • Work with a Certified Public Accountant or tax preparer. CPAs are required to undergo state-mandated certification. If your tax situation is complicated, they’re worth the extra cost. Otherwise, go with a tax preparer.
  • Prepare it yourself. If you’re familiar with tax law you can go solo, otherwise, purchase one of the tax return software programs available online or in retail stores.
  • Go to a chain retail tax preparation store. They keep late hours on tax deadline day. But if you’ve waited too long to make an appointment, companies such as Jackson Hewitt Tax Service or H&R Block offer downloadable software for do-it-yourselfers.
  • Request help at a local IRS office. Call 800.829.1040 if you’re an individual filer or 800.829.4933 if it’s for a business.
  • Get assistance from volunteers with organizations such as the AARP. Check their website at www.aarp.org/money/taxes/aarp_taxaide for a list of locations.