Tips for kicking off tax season

WASHINGTON — Tuesday marks the official start of tax season — the day the IRS begins accepting returns. But this year, you have a bit more time.

Taxpayers get a few extra days to file their returns this year because Friday, April 15, is the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, D.C.

So the deadline has been extended to the following Monday, April 18, 2016. The deadline for Maine and Massachusetts taxpayers is April 19 because of Patriots Day observances.

The IRS expects more than 150 million Americans to file their tax returns in the next few months, and more than 70 percent of them can expect to receive a refund this year.

Last year, the average refund was about $2,800.

Military service members and their families can get free financial counseling and online tax filing through the Defense Department’s Military OneSource program.

Individuals and families who made less than $62,000 can save money by using IRS Free File for their federal tax returns. Taxpayers who made more can still fill out the forms electronically for free.

There’s still time to maximize 2015 IRA contributions, which might boost your refund by lowering the amount of tax you owe.

Some taxpayers in Illinois, Utah and Hawaii will have to wait until March to get their state refunds because of fraud and identity theft concerns, The New York Times reports.

This content was republished with permission from CNN.

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