For most tax professionals and many taxpayers, April 15th stands out every year as the day when tax returns and any related tax payments are typically due. However, this year we will have three extra days to file returns and make payments.
The filing deadline for 2010 returns has been pushed back to Monday, April 18, 2011. Why? It turns out that Friday, April 15, 2011, is observed as Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in the District of Columbia. Relevant laws state that District of Columbia holidays affect tax deadlines just as federal holidays do because the offices of the Internal Revenue Service will be closed. The April 18th deadline applies to any return or payment normally due on April 15th, as well as to the deadline for requesting a tax filing extension and to making 2010 IRA contributions. Moreover, taxpayers who request an extension will have two extra days to file their returns because October 15, 2011, falls on a Saturday.
As an interesting side note, Emancipation Day celebrates the day in 1862 when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act for the release of slaves in the District of Columbia. This occurred approximately nine months before President Lincoln issued the famous Emancipation Proclamation. For more information on Emancipation Day, please see the District of Columbia website.