'The last-minute juggle'

Area residents push tax deadline or resolve to file extensions

Craig resident Lisa Parker tapped her finger nervously on her face as she scanned the stacks of tax forms at the Craig-Moffat County Library. She lifted one, glanced at the title and set it back on the pile.

"I can never remember which forms I'm supposed to get," she said. "I always end up getting too many."

On Tuesday, Tax Day, Parker wasn't the only one who visited the library in search of last-minute tax forms.

Vicki Miller made her third trip in two days. This time she grabbed a form that would give her an extension.

"I got the wrong schedule to go with the form I was filing, so I went back and got it, but I forgot to get the instructions," she said. "I'm tired of stressing over it, so I'm just going to file for an extension and get it over with."

Miller said she usually files her taxes early, but started a new job this year and got behind.

Her new job is as a bookkeeper

"It's funny, but things have been so hectic," she said. "This is the first time ever that I've ever filed an extension."

Jean Lackner, library coordinator, said many people stopped by Tuesday to pick up tax forms -- most of them extensions.

"People are doing the last-minute juggle," she said. "We've gone through thousands of tax forms."

This year she ordered 6,000 tax forms and estimates the library has gone through at least two-thirds of them.

"This year we've been lucky," she said. "I just asked for the largest amount of forms the first time because it seems if you have to reorder it's trouble.

Lackner said she's seen a lot of nervous smiles and furrowed foreheads in the last couple of days.

"Yesterday they just kept saying '24 hours to go,'" she said.

Lackner avoided the stress herself by filing an extension early on. Her husband, an accountant, has been working with the Internal Revenue Service to figure out the details of a new land partnership law that affects the Lackners, but hasn't been having much luck.

"It's so new even they couldn't figure it out," she said.

The stacks of tax forms will remain on the shelves through the end of the month before they are removed. Lackner said she'll keep some on hand throughout the year because there is usually someone who needs them later on.

The library isn't the only place that was busy because of Tuesday's tax deadline. Area accountants had one word for the day -- "busy."

"Very, very busy," said Denise Arola with Arola and Associates accounting firm.

She said April 15 was a day for last-minute organizing and, in many cases, filing extensions. She said she had some calls from people who had just started their taxes.

For them, she recommended getting an extension.

Mailbags weren't any heavier this morning than they usually are, Craig Postmaster William Barclay said, but the office was hopping Tuesday.

"We had a big day during the day yesterday," he said. "It was definitely above average."

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, Ext. 210 or by e-mail at ccurrie@craigdailypress.com.

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