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NEW YORK (CBS NEWS) – This year’s April 18 deadline to file your 2016 federal tax return is here.

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If you want extra time to file  you’ll have to notify the IRS by filing a request for a filing extension using Form 4868. But you do have only until April 18 to file a 4868. Doing so on time means you’ll have an additional six months to file your federal return. Filing for a federal extension doesn’t automatically extend state tax filing deadlines, so you’ll also have to ask for a state extension as well.

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Filing an extension is free. You can file by logging onto the IRS Free File service, and most states also have this feature available on their websites.

If you’ve waited until now to work on your taxes, you’re probably scrambling to finish. But before you file, check this list to ensure you don’t make some common mistakes.

  • Make sure all Social Security numbers included on your return are correct.
  • If your refund will be automatically deposited, double-check the bank account information (bank name, type of account, routing number and account number).
  • If you owe tax, you can have that amount automatically debited from a bank account. In addition to double-checking the bank account information, make sure to specify a date for the debit that’s no later than April 18, the last day you can pay what you owe without incurring additional interest and penalties.
  • If you’re paying a tax owed by check, don’t attach it to your tax return. Mail it (payable to “United States Treasury”) in a separate envelope with a Form 1040-V Payment Voucher and send it to the appropriate IRS address. The mailed payment must be postmarked no later than April 18 to avoid any additional interest and penalties.
  • If you’ve been covered by a health insurance plan for all of 2016, make sure to check the box for full-year coverage on line 61 of Form 1040 (or line 38 of Form 1040A and line 11 of Form 1040EZ.) If you don’t, you’ll receive a notice from the IRS saying you owe a penalty of up to $695 per adult and $347.50 per child for not having health insurance as required under the Affordable Care Act.
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