Personal Finance

Federal taxes aren't due Friday, thanks to Abraham Lincoln

Procrastinating tax filers can enjoy an extra weekend courtesy of Abraham Lincoln. His 1862 action has given them until Monday, April 18, to file.
Procrastinating tax filers can enjoy an extra weekend courtesy of Abraham Lincoln. His 1862 action has given them until Monday, April 18, to file.

As if figuring out your taxes isn’t hard enough, this year’s approaching filing deadline poses an additional twist.

It’s not on Friday April 15, and it’s not on the same day in every state.

This year, a Washington, D.C., holiday is getting in the way of the usual April 15 tax filing deadline. Because the nation’s capital is off work Friday, the whole nation gets an extra weekend to meet the filing deadline.

Officially, taxes are due for filers in 48 of the 50 states on Monday, April 18.

Taxpayers may find some irony in that the holiday is Emancipation Day.

According to The Washington Post, the holiday celebrates the date in 1862 when President Abraham Lincoln signed the District of Columbia Emancipation Act, liberating more than 3,100 slaves living in the nation’s capital.

Lincoln signed the act on April 16, but that’s a Saturday this year so the observed holiday will be Friday, April 15. The shifted holiday extended the tax deadline to April 18, the next business day.

Another holiday adds yet an additional day to the filing deadline in Maine and Massachusetts.

Those two states recognize Patriots Day on April 18 this year, as the third Monday of the month. The day marks the Revolutionary War battles at Concord and Lexington, Mass. Tax filers in those states get until April 19 to file this year, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

No matter which day your filing deadline is this year, it remains the deadline for paying taxes, too.

“Taxpayers may have a few extra days this year to file their returns and pay any tax due, but once that deadline passes on Monday, late-payment and late-filing penalties kick in. Procrastinators need to file something by the 18th to avoid adding extra penalties and interest to their bill,” Kathy Pickering, executive director of The Tax Institute at H&R Block, said in a statement.

H&R Block said filing for an extension gives the filer more time to file but not more time to pay. The deadline demands that at least 90 percent of your tax liability has been paid to avoid penalties and interest.

Most H&R Block offices nationally will be open through the extended deadline April 18 and in Maine and Massachusetts through April 19.

Mark Davis: 816-234-4372, on Twitter @mdkcstar

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