Tax filing services head into hibernation
GLENWOOD SPRINGS Tax season came to a close today and businesses helping people out with tax filings will fall off the radar.After the 15th of April, we basically go into hibernation mode, said Michelle Dunn, tax professional and office manager with a Glenwood H&R Block. The craziness really started (last) week.H&R block recently stopped taking appointments and switched over to operating entirely on a walk-in basis. People tend to come in waves, but sometimes eight people at a time or more wait for help with taxes.H&R Block gets most of its business from the last week of January to the last week of March. During that time appointments are generally scheduled all day long. And theres a jump in business the last two weeks in February when people who know theyre getting refunds come in to file taxes in hopes of getting refunds as early as possible, Dunn said.But it only gets busier during the last minute crunch.Now its starting to get pretty nutso, Dunn said Wednesday.But after today, H&R Block staffs only a couple people and slows down to opening only four days a week. Generally only people who have had some kind of an issue with their filings come in.Nationally, tax preparers reported theyve prepared more filings due to the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008. President George W. Bush called it a booster shot for our economy a package that is robust, temporary, and puts money back into the hands of American workers and businesses.It amounts to more than $152 billion this year, providing individual tax relief in the form of tax rebates up to $600 for individuals and $1,200 for married couples, with additional rebates for families with children, Bush said. The act also provides temporary tax incentives for businesses. In the Roaring Fork Valley, Dunn has seen a lot of clients looking for help figuring out how to file taxes for their own businesses.Here in this valley we have a lot of self employed people, Dunn said. Its the nature of the beast in the valley. You always need extra money.H&R Block sees a lot of people in the Roaring Fork Valley with extra side jobs or new business ventures such as subcontracting in the construction field and journalists freelance work. A lot of those people are new to self-employment and seek help filing taxes, Dunn said.One of the biggest challenges for them is detailing revenues and expenses and figuring out exactly what can legally be deducted, Dunn said.People under a certain income level can file federal taxes for free and online tax filing services have become more popular. But it hasnt seemed to affect face-to-face business.We havent seen a drop in business because of it, Dunn said.
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