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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 14, 1997)
Accountants help ease pressure of filing taxes
By Josh Funk
It’s said there are only two things in life
that are inevitable: death and taxes.
While you may be able to delay the first,
taxes are due April 15. Traditionally, people
wait until the last minute to file.
Bob Carver, assistant to the president of
H&R Block tax services, worked for the Inter
nal Revenue Service for more than 31 years.
He was in Lincoln visiting the regional H&R
Block office Thursday.
Carver said it was important for people to
file their returns promptly and correctly, but,
according to the IRS, it takes 30 hours to file a
simple personal tax return.
Instead of making tax filing a part-time job,
people are turning to professional accountants.
“By ‘contracting out’ to have your taxes
done you can take advantage of the preparer’s
tax expertise,” Carver said. “If an accountant
can’t find a tax advantage equal to his salary,
he’s not doing his job.”
Accountants have the time and knowledge
to devote to tax codes and procedures. They
are able to take advantage of the most possible
For those people who prepare their own re
turns, Carver warned to be aware of three com
■ Make sure the math is correct.
■ Use the name and number listed on your
social security card.
■ Most importantly, sign the bottom of the
form before mailing.
“Any one of these mistakes could cause a
10- to 12-week delay, and the IRS can just make
corrections to your form, which may cost you
deductions,” Carver said.
Contrary to public opinion, the IRS is will
ing to work with people who cannot pay what
they owe, he said.
“If you make a reasonable offer to make
payments, they are not going to say no,” Carver
said. “The important thing is you can’t ignore
the IRS. They won’t just go away.”
In fact, the IRS now is easier to find. And it
is slowly trying to find ways to make filing taxes
This year, the IRS unveiled its new TeleFile
program, which allows people to file their re
turns over the phone. TeleFile was sent out to
people who had previously filed the 1040EZ
Another innovation in tax filing is electronic
“Hopefully, in the future, the IRS can cre
ate an electronic filing system anyone can use
with their computer,” Carver said. “The main
problem now is the security of the transmis
sion, but they are working on a one-time en
cryption system to secure the returns.”
Taxpayers will not have to worry about ad
justing to new tax laws this year, Carver said.
“(Legislators) were too busy getting them
selves elected in Washington to change the tax
code,” Carver said, jokingly.
But, he said, students should start looking
for a tax code change later this year that will
give them a deduction for attending college.
“Clinton and the Republicans have been
talking about a tax tweak for college so it should
go through,” Carver said.
“It just remains to be seen how big the tax
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