It's that time of year again, the time when we all start looking at income taxes. This year, we get an extra 3 days to fill out the forms, they aren't due until April 18. That's because April 16 falls on a Saturday. Confused? Well, April 16 is Emancipation Day, a holiday in Washington DC. This marks the anniversary of the date Lincoln freed the 3100 slaves living in the District of Columbia.
Since Emancipation Day falls on Saturday, residents of DC will celebrate the holiday (by taking a day off work) on Friday, April 15. Since tax returns can't be processed on a holiday, they aren't due until Monday, April 18.
We may need that extra time, because many people are being asked to wait until mid-to-late February to file. This IRS bulletin indicates that anyone who 1) itemizes deductions, 2) claims the deduction for higher education or 3) claims the Educator Expense Deduction should wait. Of course, you can start your return earlier, but you'll do better to wait until the final forms are available.
If you don't fall into one of the three categories above, you can start on your 2010 taxes anytime. If your income us $49,000 or less, you qualify to have your taxes done for free by IRS trained volunteers. Also, the IRS helps the elderly with their taxes. And there are many websites that allow free filing for taxpayers.
So start gathering your receipts and get your taxes ready. There are only 102 days left.