CPAs and auditors at Lufkin firm not stressing about Tax Day

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Right now, the 2013 tax deadline is less than eight hours away. Some accountants will be working right up to midnight.

Then there's Alexander, Lankford, and Heirs Accountants in Lufkin where everyone gets off at noon. At the firm, every certified public accountant and staff member in the firm can thank founder Wilbur Alexander on Tax Day.

"We close the door at noon, having filed or extended all possible returns," Kimber Rhodes, a certified public accountant, said.

So, about 12 hours before the deadline, the scramble is not to file returns, but to confirm lunch reservations for an office staff of around 20.

The 45 year old firm operates on the standard it's better to be early than late.

"We did all the scrambling before hand," Jennifer Webster, a CPA, said. "We worked really, really hard even up to yesterday to get everything completed."

Late approval of new tax laws required many workdays going until 1 and 2in the morning.

There are some drawbacks to taking off at noon on tax day, such as a customer asking for an extension at 11:35.

"We always feel pressure on the 15th," Rhodes said. "We do have customers and clients that come in and out and we are still receiving the electronic file forms today."

All year long, the firm works to keep customers out of hot water with the IRS and other regulating agencies. Soon auditors will be gearing up for their busy time.

"And as long as they're spending money in accordance with the guidelines, it's OK," Chelsey McClendon, an auditor with the firm, said.

The preparation enables the taxpayer to feel confident about their returns, and allows the preparers to take some well deserved R&R.

"I'm getting a massage," McClendon said. "I'm excited."

"Pedicures and manicures and then we'll play games as a group together," Rhodes said.

This will all take place while other CPA's are watching the clock for the midnight tax deadline.

For those of you still working on your taxes, remember the deadline is midnight, and now is the time not to rule out the possibility of filing for an extension.

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