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Tax man cometh late this year
April 12, 2018

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Procrastinators who have yet to file their federal tax return will pick up not one, but two extra days this year to get their forms in to the Internal Revenue Service.

April 15 falls on a Sunday and Monday, April 16, is a legal holiday in Washington, D.C. where Emancipation Day is formally marked so the last day for on-time filing isn't until Tuesday.

With e-filing, the old rush to the Post Office to get that before midnight postmark is almost a thing of the past as is breaking out the calculator and working the math in pencil while trying to decipher the tax booklet instructions.

The IRS, in fact, recommends e-filing for self-filers as it's easier, quicker and less prone to error.

For those expecting a refund, e-filing with direct deposit is also the fastest way to get your money back in your pocket. The agency's website states that 90 percent of filers who e-file that way will receive their refund in less than three weeks.

If you haven't filed?

The IRS offers e-filing access that, for 70 percent of filers, is free. The agency also offers form downloads for those who need them. Visit irs.gov/help/telephone-assistance .

If you need more help, professional assistance still is available at a variety of local tax preparation businesses. Help is also still available through United Way through its free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

The program helps low-to-moderate-income households meet their basic needs and build financial assets. Residents who earn a household income of $66,000 or less can have their federal tax returns prepared, and e-filed by United Way's VITA volunteers.

To check appointment availability, visit booknow.appointment-plus.com/7z18p1x6/ or call United Way 211 by dialing 2-1-1 or 239-433-3900.

If the taxpayer has access to a computer and would like to file his or her own taxes free of charge, United Way can help with that as well. Log on to www.MyFreeTaxes.com.

If you have filed your return?

If you are expecting a refund, the IRS allows you to track it at Where's My Refund? online or using a mobile device. Visit irs.gov/refunds prepared with your Social Security number, filing status and the exact amount of your refund. You can start tracking as early as 24 hours after e-filing or a month after snail-mailing your return. The tracking service is updated daily, usually overnight.

And if you just can't make that April 17 deadline for on-time filing?

Tuesday is also the deadline to file for an extension.

Visit irs.gov/forms-pubs/extension-of-time-to-file-your-tax-return to e-file the extension form or for form downloads. One thing to note: You do need to pay any taxes owed: It's an extension to file your return only, not an extension to hand Uncle Sam his share of your paycheck.

Two more days and free assistance hither and yon. It almost makes paying the tax man painless.

Almost.

-Breeze editorial

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