This year, tax filers will not be engaging in the customary last-minute dash to submit their returns on April 15. Instead, they’ll have two extra days to procrastinate on the dreaded annual chore.

Ken Teegardin / Flickr source

American taxpayers get another break this year (Tax Day was extended in 2011 as well) since tax returns will be due on April 17.

Because April 15 comes on a Sunday and April 16 happens to be Emancipation Day, a holiday observed by the District of Columbia, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says that taxpayers have until Tuesday, April 17 to file their tax returns and pay owed taxes.

According to federal law, D.C. holidays impact tax deadlines as federal holidays would do.

Those who request an extension would have to submit their returns by October 15.

The extension means taxpayers have 48 extra hours to crunch numbers on their tax forms or preparation software or rush the final documents to their professional tax preparer. The IRS will begin opening the doors to filed returns on January 17.

This year, the IRS projects that over 144 million individual tax returns will be collected and most returns are expected to be filed by April 17.

The IRS will continue its Free File program that offers free brand-name tax software from nearly 20 providers to taxpayers who earn $57,000 or less. Also, free online fillable forms (can be e-filed) are available to everyone but state tax returns are not supported.

Still Don’t Procrastinate

Tax filers are always encouraged to file early in the tax season to avoid the crowd of procrastinators rushing their returns close to the deadline, when the IRS is most busy – slowing down the process of issuing refunds.

To expedite the entire ordeal, taxpayers should file their tax returns electronically and opt to receive their tax refunds (if any) through direct deposit. This way, anyone who files their returns in the first days of the tax season can expect their refunds as early as the first week of February.

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