The tax man cometh

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Few days to file your 2017 return

By Mark Manicone

If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, now is the time to do so.
They must be filed by midnight April 17. This is the absolute, drop-dead deadline when the IRS will quit accepting filings electronically. If you file by mail, as long as your return is postmarked before the deadline, it will be accepted.
The date is traditionally April 15, but when it falls on a weekend it is pushed to the following Monday. This year it was pushed to Tuesday, April 17, because Washington, D.C., is celebrating its emancipation holiday on Monday.
“Have everything ready to bring into your adviser before the due date; this saves so much time,” said Tommy Odom, staff accountant with Nichols Hess & Associates Tax & Financial Services. “Having a scheduled appointment also helps. We see appointments all day long.”
If you need to file for an extension, those must be done by April 17, as well to be processed, Odom said.
The AARP Foundation’s Tax Aide program also provides free tax return preparation to local low- to moderate-income taxpayers.
“We have helped over 200 people, and have enjoyed doing it,” said Velma Blakney with AARP Tax Aide. “If you haven’t filed your taxes, please come on Monday and we’ll help you in any way we can.
“Most people think because it’s AARP, that it only applies to people 50 and over, but we do everybody’s taxes,” she said. “We’ve even had a lot of students come in.”
AARP Tax Aide services are offered 1-5 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays through April 17 at the Prime Time for Seniors Center, 309 S. Plantation Road, Lancaster. For details, call Blakney at (803) 285-9847.
Volunteers throughout Indian Land, Fort Mill and Lancaster are also offering free tax return preparation through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. The United Way of Lancaster County’s VITA sites are at the Del Webb Library and Lancaster Library. Call 211 or (866) 892-9211 to make an appointment.