Last-minute push underway for Tax Day

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Time is quickly running out for those who have yet to file their federal tax returns.

Image Source: MGN

There are important do’s and don’ts when it comes to last-minute filing.

Tax Day means all hands on deck at places like the H&R Block office off Youree Drive in southeast Shreveport.

Gale Cothran, the master tax adviser and office manager, told KSLA News 12 that last-minute filers typically fall into one of two categories:

“Either because they couldn’t get all their stuff together and now they’re panicking. Or they’ve been worried about what the tax changes are going to do to them.”

At Shreveport’s main post office, it didn’t take long to find people mailing in their federal tax return on this final day, including Amy Bunch.

The Benton resident pointed to President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 as having had a big impact on their family tax return.

“It did. It did. So, we, I just, I wasn’t very happy about it, so waited 'til the last minute.”

Dr. Hosein Shokouh-Amiri, a local transplant surgeon, also waited until the last minute to file.

"My accountant does it every year. And this year, actually, I'm paying a big amount back to the government."

Cothran said she advises people not to fear or avoid the IRS.

There are serious consequences for not paying your federal taxes, ranging from stiff penalties to possible criminal charges.

That's why she strongly urges people to file their taxes.

"There are options for them if they owe. The IRS is willing to work out installment plans."

Cothran said If you pay off the balance within 180 days, the IRS will not charge you anything.

And she insisted, if nothing else, file a six-month extension until Oct. 15 to avoid a penalty.

Today also is the deadline to file state income taxes in Arkansas.

In Louisiana, the state tax return deadline is May 15.

Meanwhile, Texas is one of seven states that have no individual income taxes.

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