News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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April 15, 2013

Deadline looms for last-minute tax filers

TERRE HAUTE — If today you’re nervously watching the clock tick away the final hours of tax day, you’re not alone.

Lots of people wait until the last minute to file their tax returns, especially if they are among the minority of folks — roughly 20 percent — not expecting a refund.

“When I owe, I do it at the last minute,” said Mark Deschryver of Terre Haute, who was gathering a few additional tax documents needed to complete his 2012 returns Sunday afternoon in the Vigo County Public Library.

Another Vigo County resident, who didn’t want to give her name, was also carefully selecting tax forms from the dozens available in the library’s handy, if not cheerful, tax document area.

“It’s my husband, not me,” she said smiling. When they owe – as they do this year — he likes to wait until the last possible minute, she said.

About 30 percent of taxpayers wait until the final two weeks to file, according to the IRS.

The image of folks scanning through the imposing variety of tax documents available at the VCPL may soon be a thing of the past. Electronic filing is quickly becoming the norm. Of the millions of returns filed by the first week of April, about 90 percent were e-filed, according to the IRS.

E-filing has become so common, the U.S. postal service no longer feels the need to offer special, late-night service on tax day in Indiana, said Mary Dando, a spokeswoman for the USPS in Indianapolis.

“There was a time when you ran right up till midnight,” Dando said. “We don’t need it any more.”

Meanwhile, to help take some of the sting out of tax day, a few area businesses are offering special tax day freebies. For example Cinnabon, a cinnamon roll junkie’s heaven at Honey Creek Mall, is offering two free Cinnabon “Bites” today to tax-weary customers. Last year the chain gave away 60,000 of the treats, according to CNN Money.

Meanwhile, Arby’s is also helping Americans get through another April 15. The fast food sandwich chain is offering free curly fries and potato cakes. Special coupons are available at www.arbys.com/taxday

giveaway.

Sonic, another fast food restaurant, is also getting into the celebration mood. The drive-in located on Indiana 46/U.S. 40 near the eastside Walmart, is expanding its “happy hour” to the full day, offering half-price drinks and slushes from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. in honor of April 15.

While all that sounds nice – it’s nothing compared with the celebrating many tax professionals will enjoy after today.

“We’re celebrating with a spa day” later this week, said Kris Revesz, practice manager at Svihla & Associates, a certified public accounting firm in Terre Haute. Many of the firm’s CPAs are women, so it celebrates by treating them all to a massage at Nirvana Medspa in the Landing at Fort Harrison followed by a visit to Lexcel Salon and Spa on East Wabash. The firm also throws a big party later in the week that includes special “thank you” gifts for the long-suffering family members of the battle-weary accountants, Revesz added.

After several months of back-to-back 12- to 16- hour days, the firm’s CPAs are ready for a well-deserved break, Revesz noted. “It’s a chance for us to pamper ourselves since we haven’t been able to for so long,” she said.

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@

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