Tuesday, April 17th is the last day to file your 2017 tax return or request an extension. Usually the deadline is April 15th, but we got an extra two days this year. That's because April 15th fell on a weekend. The deadline would normally be the following Monday in this case, but Monday, April 16th was Emancipation Day which is recognized as a legal holiday in D.C.
If you waited until the last minute, the IRS has a free program to help you out. It's called VITA which stands for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. It offers free tax help to people who typically make $54,000 or less, people who are disabled or don't speak English very well, according to the IRS' website. IRS-certified volunteers will help people with basic tax return information and electronic filing for free. There are some locations open on April 17th, but you do need an appointment. To find the location nearest you and make an appointment, click here.
If you owe taxes to the government and don't file them or request an extension, you'll be hit with steep penalty and interest fees. Most people can file for free online. The IRS has one option.
If you prefer to mail your tax return, you'll need to make sure it's postmarked by today, April 17th. You can check the hours of your nearest US Post Office by clicking here. Some of them are open late.
The IRS issues 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days after the return is filed. About a million people didn't file a return in 2014 and are owed money, according to the IRS. If you are one of those people, this is your last year to file and get that return or the US Treasury will be keeping your money.
The most common mistakes when filing taxes are careless: misspelling your name or writing the wrong social security number. Using the wrong filing status and forgetting to report an income are other common mistakes.
The new tax plan President Donald Trump signed into law this year will mostly affect next year's returns.
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