Even though April 15 has already come, tax day is still coming, so if that envelope isn’t already on the way to the IRS, it should be soon. Thankfully, a calendar coincidence gives late filers a couple of extra days to get the work finished. The final day for turning in 2016 tax paperwork is Tuesday, April 18.
The date is generally April 15, but as that was a Saturday this year. The next business day is April 17, but that is Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C. So the deadline to file federal incomes tax became Tuesday. According to a Time Magazine article, Emancipation Day celebrates the day President Abraham Lincoln signed the bill ending slavery in Washington on April 16, 1862. The Time article cited a Money story that explains that holidays in Washington figure into the deadline to file taxes for all Americans.
But people don’t have to go to Washington to get help with their taxes. Help can be found by visiting www.unitedway.org/myfreetaxes/resources/hr-block. Or by finding an tax consultant like those at H&R Block. Susan Mack, a senior tax consultant with that company in Sherman, said people are using those extra days this year to file later than normal.
“I think the IRS had everyone confused at first because they kept holding refunds,” Mack said, explaining business has really been picking up lately.
“It is going great — steady and busy,” Mack said, noting that appointments can take 45-90 minutes.
She said those people who can file electronically do so but that really hasn’t cut into their business much.
“The ones that just aren’t sure always come in to see us,” she said, adding the business sees some of the same people from year to year and they love it.
When asked for some advice for those who still haven’t filed yet, Mack said people should remember to take their W-2 forms with them when they go to file or their last check stub of the year. They also need proof of any other income they might have received over the year and proof of expenses like interest on their home and proof for any credits they want to take.
“A credit is a wonderful thing,” she said with a laugh.
She said some of the more common ones are the child tax credits and energy credits. She said H&R Block’s staff has a list of about 30 questions that they go through to help people identify credits they might not have thought about.
And, she said, those who can’t file their taxes on time for some reason should file a Form 4868 for an extension of time. She cautioned that form only puts off the need for a short period of time. And rules require taxpayers to pay 90 percent of what they owe this year along with that form.