Tax deadline is Tuesday, April 18 this year

Tax deadline is Tuesday, April 18 this year

Tax deadline is Tuesday, April 18 this year

Tax deadline Tuesday

Tax dealine looming

Tax Day deadline

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - The deadline to file your 2016 taxes this year is Tuesday, April 18.

It is later this year for two reasons: the normal April 15 deadline fell on a weekend, and the following Monday is Emancipation Day which is a holiday in Washington, D.C.

It is estimated that nearly 40 million Americans are still waiting to file, whether they chose to E-File, mail it in time to get the April 18 USPS postmark, or chose a tax preparation service.

Michael Jamison, owner of On Target CPA in downtown Indianapolis, has been in the business for nearly a decade.

He says this year it isn't changes in tax code that is the biggest concern, it is instead thieves.

"Identity theft is a huge issue right now. We have people that are filing tax returns [fraudulently] on behalf of taxpayers because of data breaches. For example, maybe your health care provider had a data breach and now someone has your Social Security number, your date of birth, your address, and quite frankly that's all you need to be able to file a tax return," Jamison said.

If that happens and you file your return, it will automatically be rejected because your return will be listed as already processed.

You then have to fill out extra paperwork, meaning the bogus tax return can delay your legitimate return by weeks.

The IRS is also warning of last minute phone calls and emails from crooks trying to steal your money.

"He said that I hadn't reported my income fully and so I owed taxes for income," said Brandy Schroeder.

She got that call last fall and while she didn't end up falling for it she did panic.

"Don't let it ruin your day. It ruined mine," she said.

While getting taxes ready isn't fun, there are some surprising deductions you might not know existed.

For example, you can list the interest you pay on your mortgage along with some educational expenses even after you graduate.

On your Indiana return, you can list your rent.

Your internet and phone could even be a home office deduction, but there are conditions.

"The important thing to think about there is that the IRS has very specific rules and the most basic of them is that the office has to be exclusively used and regularly used and if you are a W-2 employee, meaning you are not self-employed, then that office also has to be for the benefit of your employer," Jamison said.

Don't forget to list extra income on your return. For example, did you drive for Uber or Lyft this year? Or did you rent out your home on Air BNB? Even if you don't get a W2 for it – it's still considered income and should be reported.

"What you don't want to do is file an erroneous tax return and then two or three years down the road the IRS comes knocking and you end up owing a lot of money back to them," Jamison said.

He says health care is an area that recently became a little tricky.

"There was an executive order signed by Donald Trump that requires the IRS to accept a tax return that does not either say the taxpayer had health insurance for the entire year, or calculate the penalty," Jamison said.

Regardless if you have or haven't filed yet, there are already concerns about 2017 taxes which will be filed in 2018.

"We do have a lot of uncertainty with respect to how the tax code is going to change or if it is going to change over the next year. Between the President and Congress there has been a lot of talk about rewriting certain provisions in the tax code," Jamison said.

If you still need more time to file your 2016 return, you can file an extension that will give you until October of 2017, but that will cost you.

"That gives you an extension in time to file, not an extension in time to pay. So if you have a tax liability that you owe, you will still have late payment penalties, but what do you won't have are late filing penalties," Jamison said.

More online: Help and Resources from the IRS

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