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Last minute tax return filing

EUREKA- Some North Coast residents did some last minute tax filing on Tax Day.

Benjamin Franklin once said that two things are certain in life, death and taxes.  However, another guarantee is tax penalties and interest for filing your tax returns too late if you owe the IRS money.  Those penalties that increase with time.

"I have seen these penalties add up to thousands of dollars, sometimes more than the tax, because people have put it off and put it off for years and years and by the time they finally file, they owe more than what their original tax was," said Jessica Najera, an IRS Enrolled Agent and Office Manager for the H&R Block Eureka Office.

Tax returns must be postmarked or filed electronically by midnight on Tax Day. Some North Coast residents did some of that last minute tax filing at the Eureka Post Office on Clark Street on Tax Day.

"I'm self employed, so often, it takes me a while to get all the information I need to get together.  And so it's a little bit of that and also it's a little bit of procrastination, but I try to get it out by the 15th of April at the latest," said Douglas Chez, who is a Eureka resident.

Experts say to follow these steps to make sure you get your tax returns in on time.

"The best advice I could give to people is keep track of your receipts and your expenses and your income throughout the entire year, so when it comes to tax time, you're not making a mad dash to add everything up at the last minute, so that you have it all ready for you," Najera said.

Eureka resident Emily Agredano says she deliberately waits until Tax Day every year to file her tax returns.

"It's my money and I just don't feel like giving them my money until it's due.  It's due on the 15th.  I don't get any bonus points for getting it in early and if they owed me money, I don't get interest on it, so I don't feel like I should pay it ahead of time," said Agredano.

The Eureka Post Office on Clark Street did not offer extended hours this year.  Officials say this is because more people are filing their tax returns online than ever before.