It’s not that you’re ungrateful. You appreciate each and every second of those extra few days to track down your W2 and finally file your 2018 taxes. But, why are taxes due on April 17? Isn’t that dreaded date generally April 15?
First of all, no, you haven’t been turning your taxes in early every year or losing out on valuable days. Tax Day is, indeed, generally on April 15, but there are exceptions so the exact date can vary from year to year. You might remember, for example, that Tax Day 2017 and 2016 fell on April 18. So, what’s the deal?
Why are taxes due on April 17?
Why are taxes due on April 17? Well, part of it has to do with the federal government and their workweek. If April 15 falls on a weekend, which it does this year, the exact date of the tax deadline gets bumped since no one’s around at the IRS to check that everything’s been filed.
This year, April 15 falls on a Sunday, meaning government offices are closed.
So why aren’t your taxes due on that Monday, April 16? That’s where you got another lucky break this year — although, we suppose, not as lucky as in 2016 and 2017 when April 15 fell on a Saturday. Our taxes aren’t due the Monday directly following April 15 because it’s a holiday, though you might not have ever heard about it.
Monday, April 16 is Emancipation Day. Although many people let the holiday pass unrecognized, it’s a big enough federal holiday for government offices to be closed. And, yes, that includes the IRS, which is why you get one more glorious day to complete your taxes.
What is Emancipation Day?
Emancipation Day marks the date Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act in 1862, thereby freeing more than 3000 slaves in the District of Columbia. It’s likely forgotten by most of the country because, though this is undoubtedly worth celebrating, it didn’t end slavery — that came after the end of the Civil War, which lasted until 1865.