Lower than expected turnout on last day to file tax returns

The Liberty Income Tax mascot, Lady Liberty, held a sign Monday afternoon along 13th Street in Harlingen that read "0 days left."

The mascot's sign indicated the end of the tax season.

It TMs usually the busiest day of the year for the tax preparation company.

It was not the case on this day, according to the owner, David Perez.

"A majority of tax payers are either confused... Or they already filed," Perez said.

Federal taxes are typically due on April 15th each year.

The IRS extended it until the 18th in 2011.

Marcos Hernandez just beat the deadline.

Why did he wait?

"The reason why is because I barely got my W-2."

Perez said the majority of people who procrastinate owe the government money.

At Liberty Income Tax, filers have owed on average around $2,000, according to Perez.

And while it was uncharacteristically slow on the last day to file, Liberty Income Tax centers stayed open until midnight.

It was apparent to Perez, many filers choose to get their returns in on the last day by filing on their own.

Perez said not doing anything could be costly with high penalties and interest added by the government.

Perez suggested trying to make an installment plan.

Payment to the IRS can be paid over as many as 60 months, he said.

Interest will still be owed, but Perez said it's a much better way than blowing off filing your return.

"That's not smart."

He also suggested paying with a credit card.

"Getting a credit card and charging it if you have a zero percent interest rate... Which most are doing right now... It may be worth your while... Especially right now... It's tough times for everybody."

Liberty Income Tax centers in Harlingen and Brownsville are open until midnight.