The tax filing deadline is April 18: But why?
It is getting down to crunch time for tax-filing procrastinators. But this year, they get a small break.
The deadline is usually April 15, but "Emancipation Day" in Washington D.C. kicks the deadline back to Monday, April 18.
The holiday marks the day President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act — ending slavery in D.C.
IRS/New Jersey/New York spokeswoman Patricia Svarnas said "we have the holiday on Friday. It allows people to have one more day."
But if the due date happens to fall on a Saturday, a Sunday or a legal holiday, then the due date is delayed until the next business day — so you get an extra weekend.
She said your return would be considered filed timely, as long as your envelope is properly addressed and postmarked by that due date, which is now April 18 for 2016.
It means filing procrastinators can procrastinate a little more. Svarnas said if you still can't file by April 18, you can request a six-month filing extension, but you still have to pay on the deadline — "estimate how much you might owe and pay that up front."
Svarnas said you can file the return at anytime during the filing extension.
"We try to give everybody the benefit of the doubt. You never know what each person's circumstances are," she said.
And again this year, electronics continues their domination over paper.
"More than 80 percent are using electronic filing," Svarnas said. "It has really become the most prevalent form of filing taxes."
She said it is safe, easy, and you can get your refund sent to you much more quickly.
"When you send something (your return paperwork) by postal mail, it has the opportunity to be lost or stolen."
April 15, the usual filing deadline, is also the day in 1912 when the Titanic sank. And while we all hope that your due date with the taxman is nowhere close to that epic tragedy, Patricia Svarnas advises, "get your tax return filed and in — and don't go down with the ship."
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5