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Why you don’t have to file your taxes until April 18

Keep grinding at those tax forms, even though

Keep grinding at those tax forms, even though they're not due until Monday, April 18, 2016. Credit: iStock

Everybody knows what April 15 is — tax filing day. Year after year, people rush to the post office at the eleventh hour to get that post mark. Even in this day of e-filing, old school still rules for some.

But this year, there’s a new date to keep in mind — April 18.

Don’t think Uncle Sam is giving you time to get your act together — hardly. In Washington, D.C., April 16 is Emancipation Day, which celebrates the day that the Compensated Emancipation Act was signed by President Abraham Lincoln, ending slavery in the District of Columbia.

Because the 16th is Saturday, the holiday will be celebrated on the 15th, so the IRS, like everyone else in Washington, has the day off, making the due date for your taxes April 18.

This is likely good news for procrastinators who will have a few extra days to file, those who need to get additional funds together if they have to settle up with Uncle Sam, and for accountants who need to take care of last-minute items.

More time may be needed for some. “People are confused by the new 1095-C form that employers issued as proof of health insurance coverage. Many employers didn’t send them out until March 31, which is late in the tax season. People had never seen this form and didn’t know they needed to bring it their CPA. I have asked clients to chase their employer to get the form,” says Mary Geong, a CPA in Piedmont, California.

But mostly, experts say, don’t let the extension be an excuse to take even longer to get down to business. Says Janet Krochman, a certified public accountant in Costa Mesa, California, “Nothing about taxes gets better by waiting, it only gets worse. Just get it done.”

CORRECTION: A prior version of this story online mistakenly attributed Janet Krochman’s quote to another person.

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