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Crunchtime for 2023 tax season, what a Wasco tax professional is seeing

Crunchtime for 2023 tax season, what a Wasco tax professional is seeing
Posted at 5:38 PM, Apr 08, 2024

WASCO, Calif. (KERO) — With the filing deadline for the 2023 tax season nearing, we spoke to an area tax professional to get their thoughts on what they're seeing so far this tax season.

  • Maria Paredes, owner of Maria's Tax Service in Wasco, has been helping people with their taxes for about two decades. This tax season [2023] Paredes said she's noticed more people are owing more and receiving lighter refunds because of changes to the tax brackets, where people are now being taxed more, but they might not be withholding enough from their paychecks to cover it overall.
  • Paredes noted, that if you think you're going to cut it close on the filing deadline, file an extension to avoid a late filing fee. However, filing an extension doesn't mean you can wait on paying your taxes. Paredes said if you think you're going to owe money on your taxes, to pay what you think you'll owe when filing the extension.
  • To learn more about filing taxes, requesting an extension, or anything else related to taxes, information can be found on irs.gov.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Can you smell it? Maybe not, but you can feel it as we close to the filing deadline for the 2023 tax season.

I’m Sam Hoyle, your Wasco neighborhood reporter, as many of you know April 15th is the last day to file your taxes without a penalty if you expect to owe, and if you’ve done your taxes this year and thought “That’s not right,” because you got a refund one year and owed the next.

You might be wondering, what’s the deal? I’d love to tell you, but I’m not a tax professional, so I don’t know, so I asked one.

Maria Paredes has been helping people with their taxes here in Wasco for 20 years and she said this year she’s seeing more people owe money because of the changes to tax brackets and people not withholding enough money to cover it.

“I have seen that more people owe this year and I'm seeing more people pay a not for a failure to withhold penalty. So there is just being added to whatever they owe”

Sometimes life gets in the way, and you’ve put off your taxes until the last minute and now you’re running out of time. What do you do then?

Paredes said if you think you’re going to cut it close? File an extension. Which will save you on a late filing fee from the IRS… though there is a caveat… when filing an extension, pay the taxes you expect to owe to avoid incurring a late payment fee or interest…

“If you feel you're gonna owe this year? I say, file an extension. Make sure that you have – that you file the extension to not have a failure to file fee and you're still gonna owe the interest. If you can afford to pay what you'll owe, pay it during the time you file the extension.”

And now that we’re almost a third of the way through the 2024 tax year, what can you do to get ahead of the game? Paredes said if you can afford it, max out your retirement contributions.

“If you have a retirement plan at work, I say, Put as much as you can because it's pre-tax money.”

To learn more about how and when to file your taxes or an extension, you can find that information on the irs.gov website.


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