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Tax TimeThe countdown is on! We are only 96 hours away from the 2016 Personal Tax Deadline. Procrastinators can rejoice because the usual April 15th deadline has been pushed to Monday, April 18. You may be wondering why this year is different than past years, and the reason is due to a holiday usually only observed in Washington DC. Emancipation Day is a legal holiday that is celebrated on April 16, but since that falls on Saturday this year, the holiday will be observed on April 15.

Have you already taken care of your taxes? If so, good for you; if not, you are definitely not alone. Surprisingly, nearly 20% of all Americans wait until April to file their taxes. In fact, according to the IRS, the week of April 15 is typically the busiest week for tax filings.

If you still need to file, don’t stress, these tax tips can help make your job a little easier:

  • Avoid waiting any longer. E-file your return at irs.gov to submit your taxes for free.
  • If you cannot file online and plan on mailing your documents, be sure to pay special attention to collection pick-up times to ensure that it will be postmarked by April 18. It’s also a good idea to double-check that you have the right amount of postage.
  • If you don’t think you can complete your filings by the deadline, you have the opportunity to file for an automatic extension; however, be sure you understand these seven points before filing Form 4868.

Although many Americans file their taxes last minute year after year with no issues, there is no denying that that procrastination can cause unnecessary stress and increase the possibility of errors. Rather than waiting for next April, consider becoming more proactive to make the filing process easier on yourself next year.

  • Take your accountant out to lunch – If you aren’t in tune with all of the tax deductions and rules, you will likely have questions. With the 2015 Tax Season wrapping up, your accountant will have more time available to work with you. Now is the perfect time to find answers to your questions.
  • Create a charitable giving calendar – It’s easy to forget about charitable donations, especially when you’re in a time crunch. Rather than attending every fundraising event, create a plan that shows where you want to keep your contributions to go. You’ll also know exactly how much you are contributing and keep your giving in check.Did you know that Lions Pride offers an option for you to automate your contributions? Learn more about automated giving.
  • Review your withholdings – Now’s a great time to review the withholding amounts on your paychecks. For instance, if you overpaid this year, there’s no reason why you can’t adjust the values now and see a little more money every other week.

Read through more preparation tips for next year’s taxes.

Remember, the early bird catches the worm. Plan ahead now to save yourself time and frustration later on. Happy Tax Time from Lions Pride!

Disclaimer: The staff at Lions Pride are not tax experts. The tips listed above are merely from various sources from around the web. For any tax questions that you may have, please consult with your CPA or tax preparer.