While it is true that there are few things as certain as death and taxes, the tax filing deadline this year has changed based upon a relatively new holiday. Emancipation Day, which was officially adopted as a holiday in the District of Columbia in 2005, will cause the tax filing deadline to be pushed forward from April 15, 2011, to April 18, 2011. This is because the observed date of Emancipation Day 2011 will be Friday, April 15.
Emancipation of your tax filing deadline
No longer will April 15 be known as nothing other than a tax filing deadline. Emancipation Day, which is observed in the District of Columbia on that date, is a celebration of freedom. Specifically, the legal holiday remembers President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act in 1862. This proceeded the Emancipation Proclamation by nine months, and it freed about 3,100 enslaved persons in the District of Columbia.
While Emancipation Day is only official in the District of Columbia, the IRS states that holidays observed in D.C. apply nationwide. Interestingly, D.C. and six other eastern states already had the tax filing deadline pushed forward because of another holiday, Patriots Day. While Emancipation Day was not initially planned to intersect with the national tax filing deadline, the coincidence is welcome for procrastinators across the U.S.
Itemizers, pay heed
Because of the new tax laws that have gone into effect, the IRS reports that its systems will not be ready to accept itemized 2010 tax returns until at least mid-February. Thus, those taxpayers who itemize their deductions will not be able to file until the IRS is ready. This delay could potentially cause an inconvenience for tens of millions of taxpayers who use Schedule A to claim their deductions for such things as mortgage interest, charitable donations, medical expenses, certain education expenses (via Form 8917) and local and state sales tax paid.
For more information on how the changes in tax law will affect itemizers, visit www.irs.gov.