This year you have until April 17 to file your federal tax return
The tax deadline this year is April 17, 2012, which means you have until then to get your 2011 federal tax returns in to the IRS.
If this date seems a bit odd, you’re right. Normally April 15 is Tax Day. But this year April 15 is a Sunday and April 16 is Emancipation Day, a special holiday in the District of Columbia. Since the IRS is closed both days, everyone has an extra two days to file.
April 17 is also important because it’s the deadline by which you must request a tax extension if you want to avoid the penalties and interest for a late return. All you have to do is file Form 4868 [Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return] and the IRS will grant you an additional six months, until October 15, to file your return.
Do note, however, that the IRS requires you to estimate and pay your tax liability before it will grant you an extension. So even though you may be able to put off all the paperwork, you won’t be able to delay paying.
April 17 is an important deadline for late tax filers too. The IRS only hands out refunds for late taxes three years after the return’s original due date. This means that the deadline for 2011 taxes (April 17, 2012) is also your last chance to claim a refund for 2008 taxes.
For most taxpayers, state tax returns are due on April 17 as well, but there are a few exceptions.
Nebraska and West Virginia filers need to get their taxes together early because their state returns are still due by the normal April 15 deadline.
A couple other states have deadlines that are slightly later than federal tax day. Indiana taxes aren’t due until April 18, Hawaiians and Oklahoma e-filers have until April 20 to file, Delaware and Iowa taxes aren’t due until April 30, Virginia taxes May 1, and Louisiana taxes May 15.
But even if you have a little extra time to get your state return in, it’s easier to just go ahead and file it at the same time as your federal return.
Why wait until the last minute to file, especially if you’re due a refund? Create an account with PriorTax today and you can take care of your current and prior year federal taxes as well as all of your state returns.
Photos via 401(K) 2012 on Flickr.
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