More taxpayers filing for extensions, more frugal with refunds - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/13/09

More taxpayers filing for extensions, more frugal with refunds

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In today's tough economy we wanted to know how NewsChannel 11 viewers would spend any refund money they might get back.

The majority of viewers, 50% say they will spend their refund on paying off credit cards and other bills.  Twenty-five percent tell us they will not get a refund this year.  Twenty-two percent say they will use their return on everyday needs like food and clothing and only 3% say they will use the money for a shopping spree.

But in order to spend that money, you must file your tax return, and the clock is ticking. "No I haven't. I'm waiting till the last minute," said one taxpayer. 

It's no surprise as April 15th rapidly approaches many will scramble to get their return complete. "It's been pretty hectic here down towards the end of the deadline," said Mark Dickson Vice President of Mason Warner and Company, PC.

Dickson says he's noticed more people waiting to file this year and needing more time. "We are doing a lot more extensions this year partly because they are bring it in later we just got to a point where we had more work to do then we could possibly get done by Wednesday," said Dickson. 

Like Joe O'Neal who says he has never had to file for an extension before this year. "I just became self employed because of all the job situations and everything so this is new experience for me," said O'Neal. 

"There is certainly a lot of concern and worry about the future in terms of jobs in terms of retirement accounts because most of everybody has seen their retirement drop considerably, so they are a lot more cautious," said Dickson.   

Dickson says the biggest piece of advice is not to ignore the deadline. He says the failure to file penalties are very costly, so the best thing to do is file for an extension. "If you've done the return and you owe the tax even if you can't pay anything in, you need to go ahead and file the return that will stop some of the really bad failure to file penalties," said Dickson. 

And while some will struggle to get their tax return, many around the Hub City will make sure they spend their money wisely. "I've done a lot better than I've use to, I use to as soon as I'd get it I'd blow it but now I've got kids and a family and I make sure I have a little nest," said Jeff Goodnight who is saving his tax refund. 

"I think we are all thinking about saving and trying to spend our money more wisely," said Misty Ziegner who is saving her tax refund. 

In today's uncertain times, O'Neal says having that extra boost could be very beneficial no matter when it comes."I guess a lot of people right now are looking to have that refund and I wish I could get mine but it's going to take a little bit for me," said O'Neal. 

click here for a link to the extension form.

get more>> Web Enhanced
Ten tips for April tax return filers
With the tax deadline of April 15 approaching, the IRS offers 10 ways to reduce stress at tax time to those who have not yet filed a tax return.

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