TRAFFIC ALERT: I-5 lane closures you need to know about this weekend

The last day to file taxes in 2018 isn’t April 15. Here’s why

Tax return check on 1040 form background

It’s a good year for those who leave their taxes to the last minute. You’re getting a two-day reprieve.

Everyone’s default assumption is that April 15 is the tax filing deadline. But the actual deadline this year is Tuesday, April 17.

Here’s why: April 15 falls on a weekend. When that happens, the official filing deadline is the Monday following.

But Monday, April 16 is Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in the District of Columbia. It marks the day that President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act in 1862, which freed over 3,000 slaves in DC.

Despite the holiday, the IRS will still be open for business if you have questions — or if you’re in the mood to file your return a day early.

If you need more time to pull your return together and can’t make the April 17 deadline, file for an automatic six-month extension to avoid a late filing penalty. That way, you’ll push your filing deadline to Monday, October 15.

But when you do, just make sure that you’ve already paid the IRS at least 90% of the taxes you owed for last year. Otherwise you could face a late payment penalty.