Today is April 15th, which means it’s tax day. As established by President Truman’s reforms and enacted during President Eisenhower’s first term in 1954, federal income taxes – and consequently, most states’ income taxes, including our very own here in Illinois – are to be filled on April 15th (whether submitted online, by a preparer, or postmarked by midnight – and there are a few post offices that stay open for just that purpose) every year.
Except, wait – this year April 15th is a Sunday, which means taxes can’t be due, right? Why yes, that is correct (tell them what they’ve won, Bob!), so one would think taxes should be due tomorrow, the 16th – the next business day after today. So you’ve got a 24-hour extension (not that anyone’s still doing their taxes, right?) to complete your filing.
Except, no again. Because in Washington DC tomorrow, they will celebrate Emancipation Day, marking the anniversary of President Lincoln freeing the slaves in our nation’s capital in 1862. So, since it’s a federal holiday, the IRS is closed, and taxes can’t be due. Interestingly, 1862 was also the year that Lincoln created the commissioner of Internal Revenue, to pay for the Civil War (before the federal income tax was repealed, then reenacted, before being declared unconstitutional until its final establishment by amendment in 1913) – but that’s not what DC or anyone else is celebrating.
So we actually have – again, for those who still need it (no one is judging) – a 48-hour extension for filing our taxes, or filing our extension requests, or making last-minute contributions to our 401k’s, or for making quarterly estimated tax payments (for those who do that sort of thing).
And if any of this is starting to sound just a bit familiar, it may be because last year (and actually even the year before that – it’s all starting to come back now, isn’t It?), taxes were due on April 18th. That’s right, three whole extra days that you got to keep your money before shipping it off to all the agencies and programs that it funds. Conversely, if you were owed a refund and held out for the last day, well, that’s three days of interest you lost. Oops.
Now next year things will return to normal, and they will stay that way for some time – 2022 to be exact. Although it’s probably important to note that there is always the possibility that the tax due date could be extended due to extreme weather conditions, and given the past few weeks, that seems more and more likely. Regardless, remember to keep watch; it’s not often we get little bonuses like that – best to take advantage when we can.