Tax day is not far off. If you haven’t done your taxes yet, it’s time to bite the bullet and get down to business.
If you’ve procrastinated, you’re not alone. One in seven Americans file in the final week, according to FiveThirtyEight. They—and you—get a little extra time this year, just as in 2016 and 2017: taxes are considered on time if they are e-filed or post-marked by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17 (not April 15).
Why do you get an extra two days? Because April 15 is a Sunday, and Washington D.C.’s Emancipation Day holiday falls on Monday, April 16. Since the deadline can’t be a holiday or weekend, all of the country benefits.
Plus, some state tax filing deadlines are even longer. Iowa and Virginia residents get until May 1. The longest extension is Louisiana—citizens there don’t have to file state taxes until May 15. If you live in Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, or Wyoming, you don’t have to worry about state income tax at all.
Filing doesn’t need to be a hassle. Today’s tax-prep software painlessly takes you through the steps needed to file a clean, correct return in a timely fashion. The software saves your work as you go, so start now and finish when you have all the documents you need. By this time, you should have everything, though. Legally, most tax documents such as W-2s, 1099s, etc., should be mailed with a postmark by January 31, though there are a few exceptions.
Don’t file until you’re sure you’ve got all the forms in. Not only does it put a bigger target on you for an audit, it means more paperwork later…