Tax deadline 2017: Here’s what you need to know

(AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – If you still owe Uncle Sam money, you’re running out of time! Tuesday is the deadline to file your 2016 tax return.

Some taxpayers, like Matt Foley of Springfield, are already ahead of the game. “I usually do it in early April, just so I don’t have to worry about it,” he said.

However, many other taxpayers procrastinate right up until the midnight deadline, which may become a problem. If you don’t file and pay your balance in time, you could end up owing the government a hefty late fee.

The failure-to-file penalty is much more than the failure-to-pay penalty. That’s why Tax Attorney Paul Mancinone encourages his clients to file, and pay as much as they can, even if they can’t pay in full. “There are different types of penalties for different types of taxes, so by in large, penalties accrue for nonpayment, and they accrue with the passage of time.”

Mancinone also explained that if you’re running short on time, you can still avoid missing the deadline by filing an extension. “Extensions are extremely easy. You can just quickly go online and download a 4868, which is the extension form. It is a piece of cake to fill out, don’t even need to sign it, and I would suggest certified mail,” he said.

Extensions can give you six additional months to file your taxes, but the same rule doesn’t apply to the money you owe. If you want to avoid paying a penalty, you’re still required to pay the amount you owe by the April 18th deadline.