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 two extra days to file returns and make payments.
The filing deadline for 2011 returns has been pushed back to Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Why? It turns out that April 15, 2012, is a Sunday and April 16, 2012 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 17th 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 2011 IRA contributions. Taxpayers who request an extension will have until October 15, 2012 to file their returns.
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.