- Associated Press - Sunday, January 22, 2017

BOSTON (AP) - It’s time to start pulling together all those forms and counting up the deductions.

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue says Monday marks the official start of the state’s tax filing season .

This year’s deadline is April 18, as April 15 falls on a Saturday and April 17 is Patriots Day.

Revenue Commissioner Michael Heffernan says the department’s top priority is protecting taxpayers from fraud. He says a new system is in place to help detect fraudulent returns and ensure that legitimate refunds go out as soon as possible.

Massachusetts has joined the Free File Alliance, a partnership between the Internal Revenue Service, state revenue agencies and tax software firms. Officials say the system will allow most residents to file state and federal tax returns online for free using approved software.

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