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Midnight Help To Beat Tax Deadline

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA - (CBS2/FOX28)  It could be a marketing ploy, but if the constant stream of clients running into the H&R Block office during the afternoon is any indication, staying open until midnight might be a great idea.

The business synonymous with tax preparation since 1955 plans to burn the midnight oil at its Edgewood Road office Monday night. Thats still 24 hours before the deadline to have tax forms in the mail or filed electronically, but long time employee Linda Wilson says everything is late  this year and the final hours could be crazy, The IRS says they are running behind in the number of returns that they normally have by this point, I know we are as well so those people still have to file a tax return.

H & R Block preparers say a few people really do run in with a shoe box full of receipts at the last minute, usually after theyve fought with forms and finally decided its just too complicated.  The firm specializes in individual tax returns, but also finds itself with a growing number of small business clients every year. Its pitch is that it is a year round business and doesnt disappear after tax season.

This year its also warning customers that hackers know its tax season too, a time when all of our personal information is online. Wilson says shes helped people who had all of that information stolen, They did it online last year and they realized within a week or two they had a computer virus, so we cant help but assume thats how their identity was stolen.  

The government shutdown last year delayed the start of the tax season for the IRS by ten days.  The deadline for filing, however, is still April 15th. The Internal Revenue Service has indicated its not concerned about those who are due a refund, but for those who owe money to the government that postmark is a hard and fast rule, followed by severe fines and penalties.

Its also important to note that the days of a postal worker standing out by the mailbox at your local post office to receive your return are mostly ancient history. That may means the deadline for snail mail filing of income tax returns comes even earlier on Tuesday for those who want to ensure that April 15th postmark.

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