Monday’s tax day. Here’s what last-minute filers should keep in mind

Millions of Americans are planning on asking Uncle Sam for extra time to file their taxes.

The IRS estimates about 19 million taxpayers will take that option.

For those who were banking on getting professional, no-cost or low-cost tax preparation done, Rob Bader, director of tax operations for the nonprofit CASH Campaign of Maryland, said that may be tough.

“Our appointments have been filled for a while now.”

Many taxpayers may want to tackle the task themselves, and for those who don’t have lots of credits or deductions, it may be simple.

“But if you have wages and investments and, like, three kids and all the credits that may apply to that, that can make it difficult to do.”

Bader said for many, the best option might be to file for an extension. The process is simple, but, he said, taxpayers do have to estimate what they owe — and most importantly, they do have to pay by April 15.

“Otherwise, the IRS will charge you interest for the amounts you haven’t paid.”

According to the IRS website, anyone who can’t pay in full by the tax deadline “should file their tax return and pay what they can, and apply for an online payment plan. By filing by the deadline, taxpayers will avoid failure to file penalties and interest — even if they’re unable to pay.”

Bader said if taxpayers opt for the extension, check with your state; according to the Maryland Comptroller’s website on extensions: “If you already requested an extension from IRS for your federal return and you do not owe additional state tax, you receive an automatic six-month extension for filing your Maryland return.”

Filing tax returns can stress people out, Bader said.

“It doesn’t freak me out, but I’m a tax preparer,” Bader said with a laugh.

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Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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