Explaining Southern California's economy

Haven't done your taxes yet? Don't panic

Tax Preparers Help Last-Minute Filers As Tax Deadline Looms

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A pedestrian walks by an H & R Block office on April 15, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Despite having an extra three days to file your income taxes this year, an estimated 15 to 20 million people will wait to the very last minute to file their taxes with a high number relying on tax preparation services.

Taxpayers are getting a bit more time this year to file their federal income tax returns. It's Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia today — that's the day the slaves were freed in D.C. — so federal offices, including the IRS, are closed. And because April 15 fell on a Sunday, the government has to give taxpayers an extra day. So this year, Tax Day will be Tuesday, April 17. 

That's tomorrow! If you haven't done your taxes yet, don't freak out. There's till time and it's not as big a hassle as you might think. You just need to use technology.

I'm old enough to have filed 1040-EZ forms by hand and both 1040 short and long forms, with a variety of schedules, also by hand. In the mid-1990s, I obtained the services of an accountant and we enjoyed a happy collaboration for around 15 years. But then I decided to go back to doing my taxes myself, mainly because I was bumping up against the deadline and didn't think I'd have time to get everything ready for my tax guy, but also because I was curious about tax-preparation software.