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Taxpayers Get a Few Extra Days to File

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 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?


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About The Tax Blog

  • The Tax Blog brings together a team of award-winning tax journalists from the Dow Jones network and around the web to examine the tax issues, changes and legislation that affect families, investors and small business owners. Our contributors include Tax Report columnist Laura Saunders (WSJ), Tax Guy columnist Bill Bischoff and senior reporter Jilian Mincer (, retirement-focused reporter Anne Tergesen (WSJ), wealth management writer Arden Dale (Dow Jones Newswires), TaxWatch columnist Eva Rosenberg and personal finance reporter Andrea Coombes (MarketWatch), and reporter Alyssa Abkowitz (SmartMoney). They’ll provide the latest news and insight, mine the tax code for tips and loopholes, and answer your questions about tricky tax situations. Contact the The Tax Blog with ideas, suggestions or tax questions at