There's an old saying that nothing is so certain as death and taxes, and while none of us is sure when the Grim Reaper will come calling, Americans have long been taught that the federal tax man gets his due every April 15.
This year U.S. Tax Day -- the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) federal tax filing deadline -- is April 17. Why the delay? Simple: The federal government -- including post offices used to deliver tax filings and the IRS processing centers that accept them -- will be closed on Sunday, April 15, 2012. When April 15 falls on a Sunday, Tax Day is moved forward one day. In fact, anytime the U.S. federal government recognizes a holiday on April 15, Tax Day gets delayed.
Now, the Ides of April aren't widely associated with a major national holiday, but in the District of Columbia -- where the IRS is headquartered -- mid-April is the season for a holiday that shuts down most of the U.S. federal government. In Washington, DC, every April 16 is recognized as Emancipation Day, which commemorates the day in 1862 when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act that freed many slaves in the District -- nine months before Honest Abe issued the better-known Emancipation Proclamation.
Thus, with April 15 a Sunday and April 16 Emancipation Day, Tax Day 2012 goes down on April 17.
Emancipation Day is the only local holiday that can delay the national U.S. federal tax filing deadline. However, as recently as 2010, another local holiday also delayed Tax Day in much of the northeastern United States.
WHAT IS THE ONLY LOCAL HOLIDAY BESIDES EMANCIPATION DAY TO DELAY THE NATIONAL U.S. TAX DAY?
Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger -- amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can also follow him on his personal blog.