But your refund might be delayed if you claim a certain tax credit

Hooray for weekends and holidays! Tax Day lands on Tuesday, April 18 this year, giving you two extra days to file your taxes.

Because April 16 is on a Sunday and the next day, Monday, April 17 is Emancipation Day — a Washington, D.C. holiday — the next available workday is April 18. But the Internal Revenue Service says that’s not an excuse to procrastinate.

“There are a number of important changes this year involving refunds and tax law changes that we encourage people to keep in mind,” says IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “We encourage taxpayers to plan ahead and take a few minutes to review these changes.”

How to file fast (and for free!)

If you love doing your taxes as much as you love going to the dentist, then you’ll be thankful for e-File from the IRS. Free File is available right now all the way through April 18. This means you don’t need to pay for software or assistance to file your taxes.

The IRS says four-out-of-five filers will file electronically, and about the same amount will opt for direct deposit, meaning you can get your tax return faster than if you choose to receive a paper check via snail mail.

“All taxpayers regardless of income will again have access to free online fillable forms, which provide electronic versions of IRS paper forms to complete and file,” the IRS says.

While the IRS expects most people to get timely refunds — 90 percent of them should be received in less than three weeks — that doesn’t mean all returns will be that fast.

To detect and prevent tax fraud, the PATH Act (Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes) means the IRS will hold refunds on tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). The change was put into effect this year.

Need help filing taxes?

Just because you can file for free doesn’t mean you should skip the help. The IRS says 90 percent of all tax returns will use tax preparation software, which usually include tax law breakdowns and your responsibilities as a taxpayer. It’s cool if you need to hire a professional to help, but don’t get conned into a tax scam. Remember: the IRS will never call you on the phone, nor will they threaten you with jail time or deportation if you don’t pay for something right away!

The IRS offers a couple different free ways to get tax help. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offers free tax assistance to those who qualify. If you make less than $54,000 a year, you have a disability or disabilities, you’re limited in your English speaking, or you’re 60 years of age or older, you may qualify for free help from the IRS. While TCE help tends to help the elderly that have questions geared toward pensions, retirement, that doesn’t mean that is all they help with.

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Article last modified on June 23, 2017. Published by Debt.com, LLC .