Geek Trivia: What are only two local U.S. holidays to delay the IRS tax deadline?

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.

Until 2011, Patriots Day -- which is recognized only in Maine and Massachusetts -- was the only local holiday besides Emancipation Day that could delay the national IRS tax filing deadline.

Patriots Day occurs on the third Monday of April, and commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord during the American Revolution. All state and federal employees in Maine and Massachusetts are given Patriots Day off work, which means all the post offices and, more importantly, the IRS processing center in Andover, MA, are shut down. The Andover IRS center handles all the tax returns for Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington, DC (you'd think the national IRS HQ would handle the latter, but no). As such, all those states recognized Tax Day a day later if and when Patriots Day fell on April 15.

That is until 2011, when Patriots Day lost the power to delay Tax Day in those states. Last year, the IRS routed tax processing to its centers in Hartford, CT, Charlotte, NC, and Kansas City, MO. (Presumably, the rapidly rising popularity of online tax filing meant that shifting the burden of processing tax returns didn't involve physically shifting any tax documents.)

Thus, while your state's patriotism may have earned you a day off, Uncle Sam still expects to get paid. That's not just a credulous calendric quirk, it's a rapaciously revenue-relegating round of Geek Trivia.

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By Jay Garmon

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 a...