Lubbock tax preparers explain delays in 2016 tax returns - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Lubbock tax preparers explain delays in 2016 tax returns

Dickson (Source: Ashlyn Tubbs) Dickson (Source: Ashlyn Tubbs)

Tuesday marked the first day the IRS began to accept 2016 tax returns, and tax preparers expect crowds to hit their office next week.

However, millions across the country, including thousands here in Lubbock, will see a delay in getting their refunds this year.

Mark Dickson, a shareholder at Mason Warner & Company, said the difference this tax season is that IRS reports millions of filers have illegally used credits, resulting in billions of dollars in fraudulent payments.

"If your return has the earned income credit refund on it, or if you have kids in college and you're getting tuition loan credits, student loan credits on your tax return, in both cases the IRS won't even start issuing refunds until after February 15th," Dickson said.

That delay is so the IRS can process those refunds, but Dickson says it's not as bad as it sounds.

"At the end of the day it's probably two or three weeks," he said, "so it's going to be there eventually."

Dickson said this will affect local stores that were counting on customers to get their returns earlier.

"That may delay someone buying a TV, or somebody buying a car, or a major furniture purchase or something," Dickson said. "That may definitely be delayed this year because they're not going to have their money upfront or as early as they thought."

Besides the delay for some filers, Dickson said because of the election there was probably not enough time for Congress to focus on making any other tax changes.

"Now I think next year there is going to be quite a bit of a possible tax reform," Dickson said.

For the time being, Dickson recommends filing your return before April.

"The earlier you get in, number one the quicker turnaround from us," he said, "the less fatigued we are."

From his past experience, Dickson said not everyone is aware they have a tax return due.

"Especially when kids are just getting out of college," he said, "maybe just starting their jobs."

Dickson receives confused calls all the time at work, he said.

"Especially as you begin to get into say home ownership or rental property, or maybe a small business that you're even running from your home," he said. "There are lots of ins-and-outs and deductions and things that you might not be aware of."

Dickson warns of the penalties for not filing a tax return.

"Especially if you owe tax and in addition they'll charge you interest and so forth," he said, "until you actually file a return and actually do pay the tax."

This year, the traditional April 15th deadline falls on a Saturday.

The following Monday is Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in the District of Columbia.

Because of that, the filing deadline to submit your tax return this year is Tuesday, April 18th.

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