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Central Coast residents hurry to complete tax returns ahead of extended deadline

Posted at 9:16 AM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-14 14:50:44-04

The extended deadline to complete taxes is Wednesday and many Californians are scrambling to complete the forms in time.

Up until this year, the deadline to file taxes has been April 15 every year since it was established in 1955, unless that day was a weekend.

With the change in due date and pandemic on our minds, many taxpayers put off this responsibility.

The IRS expects to receive about 150 million returns this year and at last count, it had about 139 million returned.

By Tuesday, San Luis Obispo resident Camilla Klassen was one of the tax filers with an outstanding return.

"I forgot and my husband said to me last week, 'you got our taxes done right 'cause they're due next week,'" Klassen said. "And I said 'oh yeah... I'll get right on that.'"

With just a few hours before the tax filing deadline, Klassen stood anxiously outside H&R Block on Broad Street in San Luis Obispo.

"It's just not something I think about, I'm so used to doing it in March but march got crazy for me," Klassen said.

March, the month Californians sheltered at home against COVID-19, was unsettling for many people.

"They're a little more anxious because they had work interruptions for sometimes two or three months or more," H&R Block CPA and Master Tax Preparer James Cudlip said.

Cudlip has 20 years of experience helping last-minute tax filers, that's nothing new. But this year, Cudlip said the volume of filers is much higher.

"Because of the stimulus checks we've been getting a fairly large number of people who haven't filed for the last number of years who needed to get their data into the IRS to get a stimulus payment," Cudlip said.

Where clients once sat alongside Cudlip while he prepared the return, H&R Block is now accepting tax documents on a drop off basis in order to limit face time.

"Only takes people about seven to 10 minutes to drop papers off and fill out the papers we need," Cudlip said.

For clients like Klassen, that time savings is priceless.

"I'm like hey, you're doing drop-offs, why haven't you always been doing this, I hate sitting here for this," Klassen said.

For Klassen, the stress of filing comes with a shred of hope: a refund for a bit of romance.

"Fingers crossed, we'll see, we'd love to," Klassen said. "We haven't gone on our honeymoon yet."

If you wait until the last minute, tax preparers may not have enough time to complete the return in time and may ask you to file an extension.