It's Almost Tax Time

Just a few more days until taxes are due. While many Americans wait until the last minute, some have already filed and have received a refund from the IRS. Bill Stamps has more.
If you live in the Houston area, doing your taxes this year may be different than any other time in your life. This year there was this thing called Hurricane Ike. Home damage from the storm can be claimed on your tax return. If Ike didn't hit you hard, maybe the sliding economy did. HR Block's Marian Clark says many of those laid-off may get punched in the gut once again when they file their return.

"A lot of people have lost their jobs and they've had unemployment, and they haven't had taxes withheld from them.  So they're finding that they A have no job and B owe money to the IRS."

Clark says for some people the stress is just too much, and for others it's just normal procrastination.

"I guess people have been not doing anything, but now it's getting tax time. They have to come and talk and see what they need to get done about it [be]cause they suspect they owe taxes anyways."

This year Uncle Sam is also offering a tax credit to first time home buyers, as the government tries to get the housing market stabilized. Those who qualify can get up to 8-thousand dollars. The government had a similar deal last year, but that one had to be repaid. This time the money is yours to keep.

Bill Stamps, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.