By Rachel Ochman
With all the chatter about tax “holidays,” the Internal Revenue Service informs us there’s actually something to celebrate on April 15: Emancipation Day, a low-profile Washington D.C. holiday that recognizes the freeing of slaves in the district.
What, you don’t get that day off? Well, you and other taxpayers still have reason to cheer. The IRS has granted a three-day extension–until April 18, 2011–to file 2010 returns and pay their dues to Uncle Sam because of the district’s day off.
The extra time isn’t related to the IRS’s recent announcement about processing delays for returns with itemized deductions. The IRS expects tax forms updated to reflect the new tax law to be available by mid- to late-February, as we previously reported.
A little more about this extra IRS time-inducing D.C. holiday. Nine months before the Emancipation Proclamation, President Abraham Lincoln signed an act freeing slaves in Washington, D.C. on April 16, 1862. Though Emancipation Day falls on a Saturday this year, the holiday will be observed in the district on the preceeding Friday. By law, filing and payment deadlines that fall on a weekend or legal holidays are extended until the next business day, according to irs.gov. And under federal statute, D.C. holidays have nationwide reach. The last time the IRS extended the April 15 deadline due to Emancipation Day: April 2007.
And, as if the tax season weren’t long and burdensome enough, the deadline to file 2010 extensions will be extended two days, until Oct. 17, 2011.
Readers, do you think you’ll take advantage of those extra 72 hours? Or will you be eagerly awaiting the day you can file with itemized deductions?