Taxpayers Will Have More Time to File in 2016

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Taxpayers will have a few extra days to file federal income tax returns next year -- and in some states, the deadline will be later than in others. Find out why.

Taxpayers will have a few extra days to file their federal income tax returns next year.

For most of the country, the filing deadline for 2015 tax returns will be April 18 rather than the usual April 15, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced this week.

The later deadline is due to Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in Washington, D.C., that falls on April 16 but will be observed next year on April 15, a Friday, pushing the tax deadline to the following Monday for most of the nation.

For residents of Maine and Massachusetts, the deadline will be April 19 due to Patriots Day, a legal holiday in those two states.

The tax season opens Jan. 19, the day on which the IRS will begin accepting individual returns. The federal agency notes, however, that many tax software companies will begin accepting tax returns earlier in January and then submit them when the season officially starts.

The IRS again anticipates issuing more than nine out of 10 refunds in fewer than 21 days and notes that e-file and direct-deposit refunds remain “the fastest and safest way to file an accurate income tax return and receive a refund.”

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen also notes that newly passed federal tax legislation makes many tax breaks permanent or extends them:

“This provides certainty for planning purposes, which will help taxpayers and the tax community as well as the IRS.”

The IRS announcement also mentions free options for tax help:

  • Seventy percent of the nation’s taxpayers are eligible for IRS Free File. Commercial partners of the IRS offer free brand-name software to about 100 million individuals and families with incomes of $62,000 or less.
  • Online fillable forms provide electronic versions of IRS paper forms to all taxpayers regardless of income that can be prepared and filed by people comfortable with completing their own returns.
  • The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) offer free tax help to people who qualify. Go to irs.gov and enter “free tax prep” in the search box to learn more and find a VITA or TCE site near you, or download the IRS2Go app on your smartphone and find a free tax prep provider.

If you’re dealing with tax debt, be sure to visit the Money Talks News Solutions Center for help.

How do you prepare for a new tax season? Let us know in our Forums. It’s a place where you can swap questions and answers on money-related matters, life hacks and ingenious ways to save.

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