Poll shows many taxpayers waiting for paperwork, planning to file this month.
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA - (Marketwired - Feb 1, 2017) - Liberty Tax Service, a leading tax preparation franchise, anticipates a busy month for tax preparers in February. In a poll of more than 1,000 taxpayers, Liberty Tax Service found that nearly 90 percent had not yet filed their 2016 federal income tax returns and that almost 68 percent of those who hadn't filed simply were waiting on tax paperwork, such as W-2s, mortgage, bank and investment statements.
Liberty Tax Service recommends taxpayers file early to minimize their risk of becoming victims of tax identity theft. The Company is encouraged to see that 63 percent of those who have not yet filed said they plan to do so during the month of February. More than 28 percent said they will file in March or later this year, a figure that was more than 41 percent in 2016.
The wait for tax documents was cited by many of the poll respondents as a reason they had not yet filed their tax returns. For example, nearly 17 percent said they had filed their 2015 taxes in January of last year, but just over 8 percent said they had filed their 2016 income tax return in January of this year. Employers have until January 31 to send W-2s to their employees. Under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, employers also are now required to file their copies of the W-2s, submitted to the Social Security Administration, by January 31. In the past, employers often had until the end of March, if filing electronically.
At participating Liberty Tax Service offices, taxpayers can begin their tax return with a pay stub while they await their W-2s. The early start will give taxpayers a sense of any taxes they may have due or the size of their income tax refund. More than 70 percent of the poll respondents said they expect an income tax refund this year. Already, income tax refunds will be delayed for taxpayers who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit. By law, the IRS cannot begin releasing those refunds until February 15. The agency has said that taxpayers claiming those credits should not expect to receive their refunds in bank accounts or on debit cards until the week of February 27.
Liberty Tax Service offices opened early this year to serve customers and will remain open through the tax filing deadline and beyond. Taxpayers have an additional three days to file their taxes this year because April 15, falls on a Saturday, and April 17, is a legal holiday in the District of Columbia. Tax day arrives on Tuesday, April 18.
Founded in 1997 by CEO John T. Hewitt, Liberty Tax, Inc. (NASDAQ: TAX) is the parent company of Liberty Tax Service. Liberty Tax is one of the fastest-growing tax preparation franchises. Last year Liberty Tax prepared over two million individual income tax returns in more than 4,400 offices and online. Liberty Tax's online services are available through eSmart Tax, Liberty Online and DIY Tax, and are all backed by the tax professionals at Liberty Tax locations and its nationwide network of approximately 22,000 seasonal tax preparers. Liberty Tax also supports local communities with fundraising endeavors and contributes as a national sponsor for many charitable causes. For a more in-depth look, visit Liberty Tax Service and interact with Liberty Tax on Twitter and Facebook.
SOURCE Liberty Tax, Inc.
Chief Marketing Officer
Liberty Tax Service