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HR departments should prepare for last-minute tax filing questions
HR professionals know that tax day brings an avalanche of employee questions and last-minute procrastinators searching for missing forms, but 2016 grants a brief reprieve as filing day has been moved to Monday, April 18.
The move from the typical April 15 due date has to do with the Emancipation Day holiday that is usually only observed in the Washington, D.C., area. The Internal Revenue Service and other government agencies will be closed Friday in observation of Abraham Lincoln's signing of the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act on April 16, 1862, a law prohibiting slavery in the District.
This year's tax season is noteworthy because it will be the first time that every married same-sex couple in the U.S. can file both their federal and their state taxes together. But it is also a prime time for cyber thieves who have increased their efforts to trick HR professionals into sharing employee W-2s and other personal information in order to file forged tax returns and claim refunds from the federal government.
Though the three-day filing "extension" provides some breathing room for those who waited, HR departments should be ready for an increased amount of questions and requests on Friday and Monday from employees who waited for the final weekend to process their taxes. In the meantime, employers with 401(k) and other defined contribution retirement plans preapproved by the IRS and adopted before Jan. 1 of this year only have until April 30 to sign updated plan documents incorporating new amendments into their plans.
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