The Internal Revenue Service began the 2011 tax season by announcing on January 4 that taxpayers will have until April 18 this year to file their tax returns and pay any tax due. The extension until Monday, April 18 is because Emancipation Day, a Washington, D.C. holiday usually celebrated on April 16, will be instead celebrated on Friday, April 15 this year. By law, Washington, D.C. holidays affect tax deadlines the same way federal holidays do, thereby giving taxpayers an extra three days to submit their tax returns this year. Taxpayers with an extension will have until October 17 to file their tax returns.
Emancipation Day marks the anniversary of the signing of the Compensation Emancipation Act. The bill, which President Abraham Lincoln signed on April 16, 1862, abolished slavery in Washington, D.C. eight and a half months before Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Emancipation Day didn’t become an official Washington, D.C. holiday until January 4, 2005.