Tax Day 2016 will come a little later this year, so anyone scrambling in Friday to get their income tax forms put together will have a couple extra days to get it all finished.
Normally, April 15 is the due date for federal and state income tax forms, but this year it has been pushed back to April 18, which is this coming Monday. Tax Day normally gets moved if April 15 happens to fall on a weekend, but this time it’s actually a different holiday pushing the deadline back.
Emancipation Day, which celebrates the day Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Act, is normally celebrated on April 16. This is a legal holiday in Washington, D.C., meaning all federal employees get the day off. Because April 16 falls on Saturday this year, the holiday is being observed on Friday instead, pushing Tax Day 2016 back to April 18.
And Tax Day 2016 could be even later depending on where you happen to live. As Al.com noted, some states are pushing it back even further to celebrate a different holiday.
“To complicate matters even more, people in Maine and Massachusetts celebrate Patriots Day on April 18, so their tax day is moved back to April 19. The IRS doesn’t give them too much of a break, though. Maine and Massachusetts residents are still required to pay the first installment of any estimated income tax payments by April 18.”
Those who need a bit of help getting ready for Tax Day 2016 will be able to find most of what they need online. The IRS has made a big technology push in the past few years, which means moving away from the physical tax forms traditionally found at the public library and toward offering more help and resources online. It’s a wise move, as the IRS estimates that close to 95 percent of taxpayers filed electronically last year.
There is a push to move more of those forms online as well, including the more obscure or lesser-used tax forms that currently are found only in hard copies. Jon Tester, a Senator from Montana, has called on the IRS to put all of its forms online.
“Tax season is often a stressful time for many Americans and with even more complexity being added to our tax code, it is important that we find ways to streamline the process,” Tester wrote (via KMMS). “Both the taxpayer and the IRS would benefit from having all necessary forms readily accessible via the Internet.”
The IRS is offering other kinds of online help, including a tool for those unsure if they need to file income taxes, taking them to a form that takes less than 15 minutes to complete. The agency also offers some free online programs for those who want some help with filing.
But as IBT reported, there are some additional benefits for those who get some paid help with Tax Day 2016.
“You can also purchase tax filing programs like TaxCut, H&R Block or TurboTax, which come in both online (sometimes these are free) and desktop versions,” the report noted. “Unlike their online counterparts, the desktop programs save your tax return and information on your computer, which means it’s always accessible, even without an internet connection and also less of a hassle to input your personal information the following tax year.”
Those who need some more help with Tax Day 2016 can click here for the essentials from the IRS, including the 1040, child tax credits, and the earned income tax credit. Taxpayers will be able to contact the IRS directly at 1-800-829-3676 with questions and to obtain any additional forms needed.
[Picture by Scott Olson/Getty Images]