April 18 is the tax-day deadline

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Taxpayers got three extra daystofiletheir returns this year. Online photo

Daniel Wright Sr

If you’re one of people that procrastinate until the last hour to file your taxes, there’s good news: This year’s deadline has been pushed back three extra days, to April 18.

According to www.irs.com, you can literally thank the stars for the granted extension. The calendar year deadline overlaps with a federal/state holiday “Emancipation Day,” which is a public holiday in the District of Columbia that observed on April 16. But when April 16 falls on a Saturday, Emancipation Day is observed on the on the previous Friday, April 15, taking presidence over the tax deadline.

Residents of Maine and Massachusetts have yet another extra day as Patriots’ Day, a statewide holiday, allows those residing in there a tax deadline of April 19. This is due to IRS offices being closed on Patriots’ Day, and since taxpayers are allowed to hand-deliver their returns to local offices, their deadline has been extended, whether filing by snail mail, e-file or dropping off their forms.

But, did you know that Jan. 15 is the deadline for self-employed workers and others who pay quarterly taxes? Or companies have until Feb. 1 to mail out W-2 forms? (Feb. 1 is also the deadline for self-employed workers to file and pay in full their fourth quarter payments to avoid penalty.).

There are free tax preparation services for those that qualify, such as the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). This program offers free tax help for those making $54,000 or less, people with disabilities and limited English-speaking taxpayers needing assistance. There is also the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE), a free program for all taxpayers, geared towards those over 60 years old, specializing in questions regarding pension and retirement-related issues.

Information on free tax preparation is available at www.irs.gov or at 800-906-9887.