A confluence of local holidays is giving American taxpayers a three- or four-day grace period after April 15 to file their taxes.
In an ordinary year, April 15 is tax day. But, as IRS spokesperson Eric Smith explained, according to Section 7503 of the U.S. tax code, any time “April 15 falls on a Saturday, Sunday, federal holiday, or holiday in the District of Columbia, the due date moves to the next business day.”
This year, April 15 is Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C. The local public holiday commemorates the day in 1862 when President Abraham Lincoln signed the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act. The act led to 3,185 slaves in the District being freed, for which the U.S. Treasury paid their owners up to $300 per slave in compensation. (The calendar date for Emancipation Day is April 16, but when April 16 is a Saturday, the holiday is officially celebrated on the preceding Friday.)
Residents of Massachusetts and Maine, meanwhile, have until Tuesday, April 19, to file their returns this year. Monday, April 18, is Patriot’s Day in the two states—a public holiday commemorating the battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775. IRS offices in Massachusetts and Maine will be closed for the holiday, and since taxpayers have the right to deliver their returns by hand, the due date is extended by one additional day in those states.