DEADLINES

Taxpayer Delinquencies Surge

It’s almost April 15. Have you filed your taxes yet? The deadline this year is scariest of all for Americans struggling to make ends meet amid the economic downturn. Experts are predicting a surge in taxpayer delinquency, as people close their eyes and hope the IRS—and their bills—disappear. “We’ve seen a huge rise in what we call the rookie delinquent taxpayer,” Richard Boggs, founder of Nationwide Tax Relief, said. “They are incredibly scared, and they have no idea what’s going to happen to them because, God bless them, they’ve never owed before.” The IRS, not known for its compassion in tax matters, says it is keeping the financial crisis in mind. “We recognize the economic realities that are out there,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said. “We’re available to work with people.”