The 2016 tax season is a little different from years past.
That dreaded due date of April 15 has been pushed back to April 18 thanks to holidays and weekends — and because of the leap year, taxpayers actually have four extra days to get their affairs organised.
Residents of Maine and Massachusetts have another day on top of those, because post offices in those two states will be closed on April 18 in observance of Patriots Day.
You can read about the technicalities of the date change in Kelly Phillips Erb’s article on Forbes.
It’s always good practice to file early, so while a couple of extra days may benefit the true procrastinators, it shouldn’t drastically alter the way you approach your taxes.
“Of course there will be some procrastinators — the IRS reports about 20% of taxpayers wait until the last week to file — but you should carry on as usual, since you may find you’re getting a refund,” she explains.
“Last tax season, nearly 75% of taxpayers received a tax refund close to $2,800 — it’s typically the early filers who receive a refund,” Greene-Lewis continues. “As of March 4, the IRS reports that 44% of tax returns have been received and the average refund is close to $3,000 so far. There’s no reason to wait to file.”
Another perk of being ahead of the game: “If you file early and get your refund prior to April 18, you can use that money to fund an IRA account by April 18,” adds MaryAnn Monforte, CPA and [email protected] professor.
“Most importantly,” Monforte says, “Even if you owe money, getting your return prepared well in advance of the payment deadline of April 18 gives you time to plan to be able to meet that financial obligation.”
The bottom line: Don’t let the new deadline get to your head. Carry on as you normally would — and don’t wait until the last minute.
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