Tax Basics

tax day 2017

When Are Taxes Due This Year?

April 1, 2017 : Monica Welsh – The Tax Institute

Editor’s Note: April is upon us. While Spring, budding lilacs, and Earth Day may be on your mind, tax procrastinators around the country are wondering “When are taxes due this year?” We’re here to tell you when taxes are due this year and why it’s NOT April 15!

Benjamin Franklin once said “the only two things in life are certain, death and taxes”. For most of our lives, Tax Day was always been certain as well —  April 15. However, over the past decade, that has come into question. I’m sure you’ve noticed Tax Day the past few years has not fallen on April 15. I promise this isn’t the IRS trying to pull a long con April Fool’s Day joke on you, and I’m here to tell you why…

In 1955, Tax Day was moved to April 15 and has remained there for the last 60 years. There was always the chance that it would fall on the weekend, so in that case Tax Day would move to April 16 or 17. Simple enough, right? Well, in 2005 another exception was made.

In January 2005, the Washington D.C. mayor at the time established Emancipation Day, which is today celebrated on April 16. It celebrates the day Abraham Lincoln signed the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act. This Act earmarked the abolition of slavery in D.C. Today it is celebrated with events throughout the city and is recognized as a public holiday.

Now I’m sure you’re thinking “What does a public holiday, observed only in Washington D.C., have to do with when my taxes are due?” The IRS is based in D.C. as part of the federal government, which is the relevant fact. The federal government observes this holiday, so the IRS observes this holiday.

The last complicating factor is that when April 16 falls on the weekend, the city celebrates the holiday on the nearest weekday. Meaning, that when April 16 falls on a Saturday, the holiday will be celebrated on Fri., April 15, which would push Tax Day back to Mon., April 18. This is what happened in 2016.

Drumroll please Tax Day in 2017 is…

This year April 15 falls on a Saturday, which means Emancipation Day will be celebrated on Mon., April 17, and Tax Day is pushed to Tues., April 18. In fact, Tax Day will not fall on April 15 again until 2019!

Rest assured — H&R Block tax professionals are always aware of exactly when your taxes are due. Make an appointment at an office today to ensure your taxes are completed on time, no matter when the filing date lands!

Monica Welsh – The Tax Institute

Monica Welsh – The Tax Institute

H&R Block

Monica is a tax research analyst in the Tax Institute. She specializes in the areas of business and investment. Monica is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law with a JD and an LLM in tax.

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