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IRS Extends Deadline To File 2011 Income Tax Returns

In a pleasant turn of events, the IRS has announced that taxpayers will have two extra days to file their tax returns for their 2011 income taxes.

Taxpayers will have until Tuesday, April 17 to file their 2011 tax returns and pay any tax due.  This is because April 15 falls on a Sunday, and Emancipation Day, a holiday observed in the District of Columbia, falls this year on Monday, April 16.  The Emancipation Day holiday celebrates the day in 1862 when President Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act, which freed about 3,100 slaves in the district.  According to federal law, District of Columbia holidays impact tax deadlines in the same way that federal holidays do; therefore, all taxpayers will have two extra days to file this year.  However, taxpayers who request an extension will still have to file their 2011 tax returns by October 15, 2012.  The IRS is expecting to receive more than 144 million individual tax returns this year, with most of those being filed by the April 17 deadline.

The IRS will begin accepting e-file and Free File returns on Jan. 17, 2012. Additional details about e-file and Free File will be announced later this month.  The IRS encourages taxpayers to e-file as it is the best way to ensure accurate tax returns and get faster refunds.  IRS Free File provides options for free brand-name tax software or online fillable forms plus free electronic filing.   Everyone can use Free File to prepare a federal tax return and Taxpayers who make $57,000 or less can choose from approximately 20 commercial software providers.  There’s no income limit for Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms, which also includes free e-filing.

Taxpayers with questions about their individual filing obligations should consult with their tax professional.