Are you ready for tax season?


Yeah, you're right. It doesn't have the same pizazz as the football query, but whether you're ready or not, tax filing season is upon us.

You can start sending in your 1040 (or 1040A or 1040EZ) as soon as you have your W-2. Folks expecting a tax refund will lead this first wave of filing.

Then there are the procrastinators. Good news this year. The filing deadline isn't until Tuesday, April 17.

The normal deadline, April 15, falls on Sunday. But just like last year, the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, D.C., will push the filing due date back. Because celebration in the nation's capital of the day President Abraham Lincoln signed the proclamation that freed slaves in the District of Columbia is on Monday, the tax filing deadline moves to Tuesday.

Even better is that 2012 is a leap year, so we get one more day to work on our taxes. Yay!

Don't forget your state taxes. Last year, most states that follow the federal timetable also gave residents extra time to finish their state tax returns. I expect that to happen again this year.

Regardless of whether you plan to file early or will wait until the absolute last minute -- or beyond by getting an extension to file -- it never hurts to start getting your tax filing material in order.

Bankrate will be here to help throughout the 2012 filing season. Our annual tax guide debuts Monday, Jan. 9, and we'll be adding to the tax tips and information as the tax season continues. We hope to see you here often.

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