America’s official tax calendar is set for next year, and the filing deadline has shifted to April 18, a Tuesday. The nation’s 16th president is the reason.
As with all things tax-related, the reasons get a bit complicated. But they’re pretty much the same reasons that moved tax day earlier this year.
For starters, taxpayers who want to act fast can file electronically starting on Jan. 23. Tax preparers will work on taxes before that date and efile them on Jan. 23.
Jan. 23 also is the date that the Internal Revenue Service will start processing paper returns. You can mail earlier than that, but returns won’t be processed before then.
As for the tax filing deadline, April 15 lands on a Saturday next year. And weekends won’t do for official federal business. IRS offices will be closed.
But wait. The following Monday won’t work either.
That day is Emancipation Day, celebrated officially in Washington, D.C. It will keep the IRS closed.
Emancipation Day celebrates the date in 1862 when President Abraham Lincoln signed the District of Columbia Emancipation Act that liberated more than 3,100 slaves living in the nation’s capital.
Technically, Lincoln signed the act on April 16. But that’s a Sunday next year, so the District of Columbia’s observed holiday will be on the following Monday. Strike the tax filing deadline from that date, too.
Which leaves Tuesday, April 18, as the deadline for taxpayers to file or request an extension. Even with an extension, however, taxes are due on the 18th.
Still, thank Lincoln for granting procrastinators an extra weekend to get their taxes done and filed.