April 13, 2010 // Franchising.com // (Virginia Beach, VA) With 50 million Americans expected to file their taxes this final week of the tax filing season, Liberty Tax expects that the late crowd is procrastinating because they owe. For the many procrastinators who owe, there are options to avoid additional penalty and interest charges. Liberty Tax Service has extended its operating hours for last minute filers. Some locations are hosting an "Up All Night" Slumber Party with twenty-four hour service April 13 7 a.m. through April 15 at midnight.
"It's best to file on time and pay as much as possible of your tax liability by April 15 to avoid the failure-to-file penalty," said John Hewitt, CEO of Liberty Tax Service.
The failure-to-file penalty is often more expensive than the failure-to-pay penalty. It's usually 5 percent of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month that a return is late. Taxpayers who don't file and pay by April 15 could face both a failure to file and a failure to pay penalty. This year, the IRS has expanded the offer-in-compromise program that allows a settlement of the taxpayer's tax liability for less than the full amount owed. Taxpayers can opt to file an extension, request to pay tax liability in installments, or pay by credit card.
Those who did receive a refund may have gotten a larger one this year. The average refund has increased 7.2 percent over last year's from $2,983 to $3,198, according to the IRS. It's not surprising that taxpayers who did receive refunds aren't using the money for exotic vacations or frivolous spending this year. A recent CareerBuilder survey cited that 78 percent of workers surveyed are living paycheck-to-paycheck, up from 61 percent last May. Over half of those surveyed (56 percent) indicated that they're spending their refunds to pay bills, and about a third (34 percent) plan to add their refund to a savings account.
Liberty Tax Service is the fastest growing retail tax preparation company in the industry's history. Founded in 1997 by CEO John T. Hewitt, a pioneer in the tax industry, Liberty Tax Service has prepared over 7,000,000 individual income tax returns. With 41 years of tax industry experience, Hewitt stands as the most experienced CEO in the tax preparation business, having also founded Jackson Hewitt Tax Service (NYSE:JTX).
Liberty Tax Service provides computerized income tax preparation, electronic filing, refund loans, and online filing through eSmart Tax. Each office offers free advice and free checking of returns to the general public. In addition, there's audit assistance, a money back guarantee, and free tax return checking. The Liberty Tax Service franchise opportunity is #9 on the fastest growing franchises list of the 2010 Entrepreneur "Franchise 500."
CareerBuilder is the largest online career site in the U.S. with more than 23 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 32 million resumes. The survey referenced above was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder among 5,231 U.S. full-time workers ages 18 and over who were interviewed between November 5 and November 23, 2009.