Happy New Year! Welcome to the Tax Cat blog! My goal here will be to translate tax law jargon into usable information for taxpayers…or in other words…You! Tax time can be very stressful, and that can be compounded by confusing new (and already existing) tax laws. I spent the last months of 2015 getting ready to help my friends, family and neighbors navigate the maze of requirements to stay on the right side of the IRS.

I look forward to hearing from you with questions and comments about what is going on in the world of taxes. That might not sound too exciting for most, however, us tax geeks have some laughs too. For instance, under the Affordable Care Act, doctors are required to use one of three specific codes for paper entering the skin. I always thought that was a paper cut. (Find your favorite injury code here http://graphics.wsj.com/medicalcodes2015 ). More importantly, taxpayers have the right to know how tax laws are made, where their tax dollars are going, and how these laws affect the bottom line in our homes and bank accounts.

So, to start out the year on an encouraging note, 2015 federal tax returns are due on the 18th of April this year. That’s three extra days, compliments of the good folks of Washington D.C. who celebrate Emancipation Day on April 15th this year. Emancipation day, usually held on the 16th (the day after tax day), marks the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862.

Don’t let the extra three days fool you though; Tax Day will still be here before you know it. So, keep an eye out for those envelopes in the mail that say “Important tax documents enclosed”, and keep them somewhere safe and together, your tax preparer will thank you.

Have an awesome 2016!