Gary Purcell talks quickly about the volume of personal tax returns he's helping customers file at his Beaufort office in the final few days before this year's April 17 deadline.
He says he has to.
"It's like wacko time around here right now," he said. "This is what I call our 'silly season.'<2009>"
Purcell said he's grateful for the business, but he warns customers each year not to wait until the final week before the deadline to come by his office.
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"People promise me they'll file earlier next year," he said. "Then you see those same people coming by the exact same time next year. It never fails."
It's no different in Bluffton, where Michael Thompson said he files about 30 percent of his annual volume of returns in the final week before the deadline.
He said the workload the week demands is, well, taxing.
"We're working 12 hours a day now, including the weekend before the deadline," he said, adding he and his coworkers worked no more than seven or eight ha day earlier this spring.
But Greg Bennett, who also works in Bluffton, said he refuses to let himself or his coworkers get too overworked.
"That's why God gave us extensions," he said with a laugh.
He said the biggest problem he faces each year isn't customers' procrastination, but inadequate preparation from small businesses seeking his aid.
Only about 25 percent of them, he said, bring all of the requisite documentation to their first consultation.
His advice to small businesses: Open a checking account and use it exclusively for costs associated with the company.
"It's a matter of discipline, keeping your personal and professional expenses separate," he said. "It's shocking that some businesses can't summarize what their expenses and incomes are."
David Morrill of Beaufort reported his Beaufort office was also relatively calm in the past week, which he said is because he decided Wednesday to stop taking on new work.
"We don't push it because we're trying to avoid errors," he explained.
Helen Hauer, who helps run the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program in southern Beaufort County, said the predominantly elderly volunteers who have staffed the program are ready to move on to other interests.
She added people receiving refunds upon filing their taxes are always among the first to take advantage of the program's free service.
"But then there's a second group of people that just wait until the last minute," she said.
It's the latter group that will keep the program's volunteers, who have been offering their skills for more than two months, busy until the last minute.
"In the beginning, they were really excited, but that's changed a little," she said of her volunteers' anticipation of the deadline.
"Now they want to do other things."
Follow reporter Grant Martin at twitter.com/LowCoBiz.