Tax Season: Get Started or Wait?

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EUGENE, Ore. — The deadline to file your taxes is still about three months away but some people are already getting it done.

As the old saying goes: There are two unavoidable things in life–death and taxes.

So, should you file now or wait until April 15th? Tax services and customers say it depends on your situation.

Drive down West 7th and you catch a glimpse of a wave and a twirling sign, a reminder that tax season is underway. A reminder that’s not really necessary for customers like Danielle Gann.

“I don’t like waiting. I’ve already waited long enough the whole last year,” said Gann, a customer at Liberty Tax Service in Eugene. She says she files every year around this time to beat the April 15th deadline rush.

“If everybody waits until the deadline, then everybody’s at the tax office at the same time and everybody’s having to wait,” said Gann.

Tom Ames at Liberty Tax Service says there isn’t a benefit to waiting or getting an early start. It just depends on your situation.

“Generally, what we see are the people expecting a refund, like to file sooner because they want their money back. The people that owe money typically are the ones that file later in the season,” said Ames, owner of the Eugene and Springfield locations.

Ames says even if you owe money and file early, you won’t have to pay until April. So, his advice on filing is: the earlier, the better.

“I always encourage people to get your return filed. You’ll know exactly what it is if you think you’re going to owe some money and you can kind of start keeping track of that and figure that out between now and April 15th,” said Ames.

He says you’ll need to take proof of all your income, including W-2’s and your expenses.

While you can’t file without a W-2, you can get a head start if you have a pay stub.

“The nice thing about doing that is when they get their W-2, they just come back and we verify if the numbers are accurate. We’ve got all the information off the W-2 we need,” said Ames.

For Gann, getting her return in early also means an early “hello” to her return.

“It’s always a benefit and an excitement when I actually do get my taxes done early and it comes back a little ahead of time,” said Gann.

Ames says they’re entering one of their two busiest times of the season. The second is the last week before the April 15th deadline.

You can file for an extension until October, but you still have to pay any taxes by April 15th or you will face state and federal penalties.

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