Last minute rush expected at tax preparation offices

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It?s the calm before the storm at many tax preparation offices. (KFSN)

It's the calm before the storm at many tax preparation offices. H&R Block is expecting a rush on Tuesday, the last day to file taxes without penalty.

RELATED: Tax Day Cometh: Times, locations and tips to make your tax day easier

Jennifer Hernandez, who manages an H&R Block office in Fresno says, "There are quite a few procrastinators these days."

The free tax help service offered by United Way at their offices on Kings Canyon was closed Monday. They've been holding tax help sessions for weeks.

Ashley McBride, the Director of the VITA tax assistance programs says will be open early on Tuesday.

"United Way Fresno & Madera Counties offers a free tax preparation service for anyone making $54,000 or less. So, if you are interested in filing you can come down to the United Way offices as early as 8 am. We will be taking the first 100 and we hope to have all of them filed by midnight."

Despite all the talk of tax reform, Hernandez, of H&R Block says there shouldn't be any big surprises this year.

"There aren't too many changes this year but next year there will be quite a few changes."

What's important is to bring all relevant documents and your spouse, if you file jointly, to whoever you have prepared your taxes. Don't forget social security cards for each dependent, and proof of health insurance. Because the mandate from the Affordable Care Act is still in place because if you don't prove you have health insurance you will be financially penalized on your return.

There are also online filing options, including those from H&R Block, Turbo Tax, the IRS, the State of California, and United Way's myfreetaxes.org.

LINK: IRS options to do your federal taxes for free

McBride says United Way's goal is to help families get what's coming to them and to boost the local economy.

"Our services are aimed at low to moderate income families because our tax return average is about $2,500 and infusing the $2,500 into a low-income family makes a huge difference in their lives. Last year we did over 7,000 tax returns and we put over $12 million back into the Fresno community."

If you don't file online and are planning a midnight run to the post office, think again.

All post office locations in Fresno are no longer open late on tax day and there is no guarantee anything left in the mailbox after closing will be postmarked in time to avoid a possible late penalty from the IRS.
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