Personal Finance: Ask the Experts

Get advice on money matters from The Bee's Claudia Buck and a panel of local experts

April 13, 2013
Countdown to April 15: Where to find last-minute tax help

It's down to the final weekend: Monday is the April 15 tax-filing deadline. Need some last-minute help? Here's where to find it:


The IRS announced Friday that its taxpayer phone lines will be open Saturday and for extended hours on Monday to help consumers with tax-related questions. The consumer help line - (800) 829-1040 - will be taking calls on:
Saturday, April 13: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., local time
Sunday: Closed
Monday, April 15: 7 a.m. to midnight, local time
(For business-related tax help on Monday, call (800) 829-4933 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., local time.)

Both the IRS and the state Franchise Tax Board have 24/7 information on their websites, including tax calculators, frequently-asked questions, tax extensions/credits. You can download tax forms, e-file your return, pay your tax bill, request a six-month extension to file.



The Sacramento office at 4330 Watt Ave. in Sacramento is open with extended hours from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can pick up tax forms, make payments and get help with questions from volunteer tax assistance . Other Taxpayer Assistance Centers are in IRS offices statewide.

To find free tax-filing help from a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) center, you can search online by zipcode. Or call (800) 906-9887. VITA and TCE help is free to those with incomes below $51,000.

Franchise Tax Board

For help by phone, call (800) 852-5711 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Be warned: Wait times can be up to two hours. For faster answers to general tax questions, use the FTB's online "Live Chat" feature.

For walk-in help, the FTB's Sacramento field office at 3321 Power Inn Road is open Monday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can pick up forms, e-file a return, drop off a paper return or make a tax payment.


You can request a six-month extension - until Oct. 15 - to file your IRS tax return. But note: it's not an extension to pay what you owe. If you don't pay at least a portion of your tax bill by April 15, you will incur interest and possible penalties, up to 25 percent.

If e-filing an IRS extension request, use Free File. It must be filed by midnight on April 15.

If filing a paper request, use IRS Form 4868. The form, available at IRS offices or on the IRS website, must be postmarked by April 15.

For California taxes, a six-month extension until Oct. 15 is automatic if you don't file a return. But just like the IRS, if you don't pay what you owe by April 15, you'll face interest and penalties.

About Comments

Reader comments on are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

Meet Our Financial Experts

Claudia Buck

Claudia Buck is The Sacramento Bee's personal finance columnist. Read all her columns here. Contact her at

Terri Carpenter

Terri Carpenter offers advice on job hunting, retraining and career counseling. Carpenter works at Sacramento Works Inc., the career and job training arm of the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency (SETA). With 15 years in the field, she has hands-on experience with everyone from first-time job seekers to career professionals seeking advice after a layoff or looking for a mid-career change. Ask her a question.

Carlena Tapella

Carlena Tapella is a partner in the law firm of Webb & Tapella Law Corp. in Sacramento. The firm specializes in estate planning and probate, such as estates, trusts, conservatorships and litigation. She is a past president of the Sacramento County Bar Association's Estate Planning & Probate Section. Ask her a question.

Kimberly Foss

Kimberly Foss, certified financial planner, is the founder of Empyrion Wealth Management in Roseville. With nearly 30 years in the financial industry, her clients include women in transition, small business owners, retirees and "pre-retirees." Ask her a question.

Jesse Weller

Gregory Burke, a CPA and tax expert with John Waddell & Co. in Sacramento since 1984, worked as an IRS tax auditor for six years. He’s a past chairman of the California Society of CPAs. Ask him a question.

Daniel Tahara

Daniel Tahara takes your questions about California taxes. Tahara, a spokesman for the state Franchise Tax Board, has 10 years of experience as a tax auditor. Ask him a question.

Personal Finance columns

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31