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Don't Panic! Tax Relief Is Here

The IRS extended the usual filing date to April 18, so enjoy the weekend.

Didn't file those tax forms yet? Don't despair, you have 72 hours. So, put the work aside for a little while, go to a ballgame and get back to the taxes later.

Well, procrastinating wasn't a good idea in school and it's not a good idea now, but a lot of us still wait to the last minute. Why?

"I hear all kinds of excuses as to why people are late," said Paula Helene Beard, an accountant in Greenbrae. "People say 'I just didn't get it together,' or 'I didn't make any money.' But then they really did make money and they still have a tax bill."

The Internal Revenue Service extended the tax filing deadline this year to Monday, April 18, which is good news for a lot of people. Even Beard plans to spend her weekend doing her own taxes.

Beard, an accountant in the Twin Cities area for the past 25 years, offers a tip for taxpayers: "Electronic filing is the way to go, whether you do it yourself or with a professional. It reduces paper; it's faster and cleaner; it prevents loss and fraud."

Visit the IRS website to download forms or to e-file. The site also lists some of the top tax-season scams to watch out for.

And if you do need an accountant? "Call me," she says.

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