Tax preparers encourage action, even if you miss the filing deadline

NOW: Tax preparers encourage action, even if you miss the filing deadline

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- As the clock ticked down to the tax filing deadline, tax preparers reminded people there were still options available.

They said people could still file for an extension to avoid costly penalties from the IRS.

Acc-U-Rite's 20 employees celebrated the end of a challenging filing period with their traditional pizza and drinks.

President & CEO Jason Rose said, "Best thing is just take action, take that first step, get started on it."

Rose said penalties and interest start accruing the day after the filing deadline. The extension buys you six months' time, until mid-October, but it does not extend how long you have to pay if you owe.

He said, "If you think you owe money, then you can file an extension. You can definitely still go online and pay what you think you might owe."

Rose says his staff of 17 tax preparers at Acc-U-Rite Tax Service in Milwaukee saw a big rush at the end of this filing season. In fact, it was so busy that Rose said, "I didn't even have a chance to get to my tax return this year, it's been that crazy."

Rose says this year was harder for preparers for a few reasons. A lot of rental properties were sold this year, many more people are involved in cryptocurrency, and the tax code is a little more complicated.

Rose said of the IRS, "They're very difficult to decipher. Sometimes I'm looking at them and I have to really take my time and go through it to figure out exactly what the IRS is getting at."

Plus, the IRS is slowed by backlogs. At the end of January, the IRS had 21 million paper items to review. Rose says it takes roughly one week to get through one million items.

And that was even before tax season started, so Rose says the most efficient way to file is to avoiding mailing your return. "Best advice I can give you is if you can avoid sending anything to the IRS on paper, then do so. Use e-file, find some way to get it done electronically."

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