Procrastinators who waited until the last minute to file their federal income taxes can still get free help today — and freebies from local businesses.
The final Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program by the United Way of Denton County will be operating tonight at the North Branch Library from 5 to 8 p.m. Eight volunteers are scheduled to come in and help people whose income was $50,000 or less file their taxes, said Teddy Yan, marketing and outreach coordinator.
For others who have not yet filed their taxes, filing an extension could now be the best bet, said John Baines, accountant and owner of John E. Baines PC in Denton.
“I think most of us are recommending extensions if they were going to call today,” Baines said. “April 15 is a day where you can file an extension for the paperwork but not for the tax, so if you’re owing, you need to send in a good estimate of what you owe; otherwise, you’ll have to pay penalty or interest.”
The form to request an extension is available at www.irs.gov and gives taxpayers an option to electronically request a six-month extension.
Even for those who think they can file their taxes quickly by the end of the day, Baines says using the extension will give people time to compare their finalized paperwork with last year’s to figure out mistakes and ensure they don’t have to file amendments to the submitted paperwork.
“It’s better to do it correctly than hastily,” he said.
All taxpayers, meanwhile, can reward themselves today with free and discounted specials throughout the area.
To combat hunger, Arby’s will give away free curly fries or potato cakes with a coupon all day, and Cinnabon is giving away two free Cinnabon bites between 6 and 8 p.m. today. Chili’s is offering a free appetizer or dessert with a coupon and purchase of an entree, and Marble Slab Creameries is giving away one free scoop between 4 and 7 p.m.
Throughout the day, Office Depot is offering free copying and shredding services, while Sonic will have half-price drinks and slushes.
Other “Tax Day” offers are available online and on company Facebook pages.
JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.