Friday, April 15, 2011

April 15th Isn’t Tax Day This Year!

That’s right, April 15th isn’t tax day this year, so if you have waited till the last minute to file your returns, you have three more days to put it off. This year it will fall on April 18th, 2011.

Tax day is traditionally April 15th. This date was chosen in 1955. However, if the 15th falls on a weekend, Emancipation Day or other holiday, tax day is put off until the following business day.

So what happened this year? April 15th and Emancipation Day occur together this Friday, today! Since Emancipation Day is a holiday in the District of Columbia, the tax day has been put off until Monday the 18th.

What is Emancipation Day? I never heard of it until this minute and I hate to go to bed at night with unanswered questions. Thank God for the internet or curiosity would have killed me a long time ago. I did a few searches so I could enlighten myself and others.

Washington D.C. celebrates Emancipation Day as April 16th because that is the day Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act in 1862 which abolished slavery in the District of Columbia. Slave owners had to release their slaves and were paid approximately $300, by the federal government, for each slave set free. Washington D.C. was the only place where the federal government paid about 900 slave owners for emancipating their slaves. In D.C. it is an official public holiday since 2005 and is celebrated with an official parade.

So you can thank Washington D.C. for the tax extension this year. Three extra days must be making the H&R Block people very happy. Of course, I am thrilled I filed early so I don’t have to be wasting the whole weekend trying to find someone to do my taxes. I imagine all the tax preparers will have their hands full.

The only thing we can be sure of in life are death and taxes…we just can’t always be sure of when tax day is.

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