By Ellen Stark
April 8, 2016

This year you get a few extra days to finish up your taxes. Because of Emancipation Day, a Washington D.C. holiday observed on Friday, April 15th, the 2016 tax-filing deadline is Monday, April 18th. Lucky Maine and Massachusetts residents have until Tuesday, April 19th, thanks to Patriots’ Day.

But if that bonus weekend isn’t enough, procrastinators can easily buy themselves more time.

To get another six months to finish up your taxes, all you have to do is file Form 4868. It’s available online at irs.gov. Check with your state to see if you need to file a separate form.

Even with an extension, you must pay what you think you owe by April 18th. If you’re short on cash, file anyway and pay as much as you can. That way you at least avoid a steep failure-to-file penalty, though you may still owe interest and penalties on your unpaid balance.

You can put your taxes on plastic, but keep in mind that you’ll have to pay the fees that merchants normally absorb. Those can add 2% to your tax bill. A better solution might be to apply for an online payment agreement with the IRS, which lets you spread your tax bill over time.

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