Taxpayers have a few extra days to file their federal and state tax returns this year, thanks to some quirks of the calendar and a holiday that is celebrated only in Washington, D.C.
“Tax Day” typically is April 15, which this year falls on a Friday. But the deadline is being pushed to Monday, April 18 this year.
The reason: the federal tax deadline has been moved to April 18 because Emancipation Day, a holiday in Washington, D.C., will be observed on April 15. The state tax deadline has been moved to coincide with the federal.
Emancipation Day marks the anniversary of the signing of the Compensation Emancipation Act by President Abraham Lincoln. The holiday typically is celebrated on April 16, but is being observed April 15 this year, since April 16 is a Saturday.
Still, taxpayers shouldn’t procrastinate in filing, said state Department of Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin Sullivan.
“Just because there’s a little more time to file, taxpayers should never wait until the last minute,” he said in a statement. “We estimate 1.8 million income tax returns this year, from both paper and electronic filers.”
Sullivan offered the following tips and advice to taxpayers:
—Taxpayers can file Connecticut income tax returns using the free DRS Taxpayer Service Center.
—Remember that an extension to file a return is not an extension to pay the amount due. Those who don’t file by April 18 or pay the full amount due may face penalties and interest.
—Low-income and older taxpayers can receive tax preparation help from AARP, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, and Community Accounting Aid and Services Inc. (CAAS). Find more information at http://j.mp/ctdrs-free-income-tax-help.
—Use a reputable tax preparer. Those with relatively simple financials don’t need to pay for preparation services. Others should chose a legitimate, mainstream paid preparer or online processor. Always be sure to get a copy of the return that is filed.
—Consider donating to charity. All or part of a state refund can be donated to a charity by checking off a box found on the income tax return.
—Don’t forget about the Use Tax. Residents making out-of-state online purchases where no Connecticut sales tax was collected at the time of purchase must declare and pay the Use Tax when filing their returns. Not doing so can result in penalties, interest, or criminal enforcement.
For more information, visit DRS online at www.ct.gov/DRS or call 1-800-382-9463 or (860) 297-5962.