Three extra days to file 2016 federal taxes

Sen. Chuck Grassley reminds Iowans of a bit of good news in a Q & A sent out by his office March 25.

Q: What tips do you have for Iowans this tax filing season?

A: For starters, file your tax return on time to avoid interest, fees and other penalties. The good news is that taxpayers have a few extra days to file this year. The federal tax filing deadline for 2017 falls on Tuesday, April 18.

That’s because the standard deadline, April 15, is on a Saturday this year and the IRS will be closed for a legal holiday (Emancipation Day, which observes the 1862 law ending slavery) on Monday, April 17.

For filers needing an extension, be sure to file Form 4868 or make a payment by the April 18 filing deadline to avoid late payment penalties. Note the automatic six-month extension is a grace period for filing, not an extension on taxes owed; and, interest accrues on unpaid taxes.

The IRS offers free online software service options for those with incomes below $64,000 a year and online fillable forms for those with incomes above $64,000 who file taxes on their own. Go to https://www.irs.gov/uac/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free to learn more.

Free tax filing assistance is available in person for individuals earning less than $54,000. Find the nearest IRS-approved Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs here: https://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/.

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