April 17, 2017

Why is Tax Day on a Tuesday that's not the 15th this year?

I understand moving the income tax filing deadline to Monday when April 15th falls on a Saturday or Sunday, but this year, we're told Tax Day is is April 18th, which is tomorrow, Tuesday. Is Easter Monday a federal holiday? I don't remember that ever happening before. Good Friday would make more sense as a holiday, if you wanted an Easter-related holiday, because there are things some Christians do that day, and it would accommodate them and take the burden off their co-workers who might otherwise need to cover for them.

But what is Easter Monday other than just another manic Monday?

I see that in Eastern Christianity, Easter Monday is observed in a special way. The day is called "Bright Monday" or "Renewal Monday," and there is a service similar to Easter Sunday, and there is an outdoor procession. But most years, Eastern Orthodox Easter isn't the same day as the Easter that gets so much attention in the United States. It does happen to be the same day this year.

But Easter Monday is not a federal holiday. And — I had to look a while to figure this out — pushing Tax Day to Tuesday has nothing to do with Easter. It's about Emancipation Day, the Washington D.C. holiday. This holiday — which affects the government located in D.C. — does not mark the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, which happened on a January 1st, a day that is already the New Year's holiday. It marks the signing of the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act, which happened on April 16, 1862. The 16th is the holiday, but it fell on a Sunday, so it's celebrated on Monday.

"The passage of the Compensated Emancipation Act came nearly nine months before the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation":
The act, which set aside $1 million, immediately emancipated slaves in Washington, D.C., giving Union slaveholders up to $300 per freed slave. An additional $100,000 allocated by the law was used to pay each newly freed slave $100 if he or she chose to leave the United States and colonize in places such as Haiti or Liberia.

In Washington, D.C., April 16 has been celebrated as Emancipation Day since 1866. An annual parade was held to commemorate the signing of the act until 1901, when a lack of financial and organizational support forced the tradition to stop; it restarted in 2002. In 2000, the Council of the District of Columbia made April 16 a private holiday—or one on which city employees are not given a free day off—and on July 9, 2004, council member Vincent Orange proposed making the day a public holiday. 2005 marked the first year that Emancipation Day was celebrated as an official city holiday in Washington, D.C.
Emancipation Day could push Tax Day to a Tuesday that's not the 15th if it falls on a Sunday or a Monday. That has happened in the years since the first official city holiday in 2005. It was a Sunday in 2006, and it was a Monday in 2007 and 2012. So Tax Day has fallen on a non-Monday, non-15th before. I don't remember noticing. And I hadn't noticed that a holiday that was not a federal holiday could affect the whole nation like this.

48 comments:

urbane legend said...

. . . it restarted in 2002.
How many of LBJ's slaves were freed? Wait; he was from Texas, so he wasn't a Union slave older, was he?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The third Monday in April is Patriot's Day, commemorating the battles of Concord and Lexington ( April 19, 1775 ). It is an official state holiday in Massachusetts and Maine, and the day on which the Boston Marathon is held. Whenever tax day would fall on Patriot's day people in Massachusetts and Maine would get an extra day, because IRS offices and post offices in the states would be closed.

MadisonMan said...

Because the Federal Govt can't assume its citizenry will plan ahead. Because the Federal Govt thinks we're all infants in need of help.

Laslo Spatula said...

" An additional $100,000 allocated by the law was used to pay each newly freed slave $100 if he or she chose to leave the United States and colonize in places such as Haiti or Liberia."

Can we try this again, and allocate money for people to leave Washington DC?

I am Laslo.

Original Mike said...

Easter Monday is a public holiday in Australia.

Original Mike said...

Maybe D.C. needs to rest up for the buckets of money we'll be sending them.

caplight45 said...

Another reminder that we work for them, they do not serve us.

Although, many years ago when I was an employee of an agency of the government of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (and a unionista I might add), I didn't complain about primary election day and Flag Day being paid holidays.

Laslo Spatula said...

Is this the post where we're not re-arguing the Middle East in the comments?

Or have we not just got there yet?

I am Laslo.

rehajm said...

Yah. Patriots Day.

Carol said...

Tax day was the 18th last year too.

Oh Yea said...

As a federal employee who works outside of DC, it is a work day. Thankful I won't need to take any calls from higher HQ in DC, so it will feel like a holiday.

Roy Jacobsen said...

A friend contends that, since the day after Christmas is Boxing day, the day after Easter should be Basket Day.

I dunno. I kinda like the sound of Wrestling Day, myself.

rehajm said...

Emancipation Day is also a holiday in DC...

traditionalguy said...

We need to reargue the Korean War Truce line in honor of Mike Pent's father who won a Bronze Star in one of dozens of taking and retaking charges up Pork Chop Hill over and over during the 1953 negotiations.

WA-mom said...

Everyone knows Easter Monday is Dyngus Day, widely celebrated in Buffalo and other Polish communities. Throw water at your beloved, hit people's legs with pussy willow swatches and, of course, drink beer. http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2016/03/dyngus_day_what_to_know_about.html

traditionalguy said...

Today from now on shall be called Gorsich Day celebrated by lawyers and judges through out the land.

holdfast said...

In Canada it's a 4 day holiday weekend.

madAsHell said...

Emancipation Day is also a holiday in DC...

Juneteenth

Ann Althouse said...

"Emancipation Day is also a holiday in DC..."

I don't understand the "also."

khesanh0802 said...

Good to see a couple of New England-centric folks on the thread.

"Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year."

campy said...

Hardly a man is now alive who remembers that poem.

MadisonMan said...

Today is also a Holiday for the Madison Schools. Of course, it's not anything to do with Easter, a Christian holiday, nudge nudge wink wink. It just is a grand coincidence that "Spring Break" for Madison schools always always coincides with Easter.

khesanh0802 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
khesanh0802 said...

@campy Again, you have to be New England-centric. What path does the Boston Marathon follow? Why, gosh, a rough approximation of Paul Revere's ride.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

It used to be that you got an extra day to file your taxes if the state where the IRS service center you filed was located had a state holiday on the federal filing deadline. There was an IRS service center in Andover, Massachusetts which served most of New England. So we sometimes got an extra day due to Patriots Day being celebrated in Monday, and the rest of the country did not. The Andover service center has closed, but in the meantime D.C. put through its Emancipation Day holiday. As you might guess, the taxpayers outside of New England had become jealous of our special privilege, so the old Patriots Day rule was extended to the whole country on the back of Emancipation Day.

jaydub said...

Wonder why tax day falling on the 18th is big enough deal to rate a blog post this year but wasn't last year or any other year the 15th falls on the weekend. Probably has somthing to do with Trump or the Russians?

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Do you remember when you could get tax forms and instruction booklets at the Post Office?

Another quaint Boston Tax Day tradition that has gone by the boards was the midnight filing deadline party at the Central Mail Facility on the Fort Point Channel separating the financial district from Southie. As it was regularly open until midnight, it was the last place you could get your April 15 postmark in Boston. The postmaster set out long tables and chairs, boxes of tax forms, and served refreshments. People would bring their W-2s and boxes of receipts and sit down and do their tax return at the post office.

As the night wore on it got to be a bit of a party. It had a bit of a look of a proctored final exam, and I always wondered if there were some people who just turned in the answers they had been able to complete at midnight, even if they had not completed all the questions.

AJ Lynch said...

Today is also Dingus Day so you can start to eat all the stuff you gave up for Lent.

campy said...

What path does the Boston Marathon follow? Why, gosh, a rough approximation of Paul Revere's ride.

Huh? The marathon goes nowhere near Revere's route. The last part sort of follows William Dawes's ride.

Ann Althouse said...

"Wonder why tax day falling on the 18th is big enough deal to rate a blog post this year but wasn't last year or any other year the 15th falls on the weekend. Probably has somthing to do with Trump or the Russians?"

Because the normal thing is for the day to then be moved to Monday. I was puzzled why tax day wasn't today. Monday. When has Tax Day ever been on a Tuesday when Tuesday wasn't the 15th?

Big Mike said...

All I know is that if Tax Day was moved to Memorial Day my son would nevertheless get started the day before. And suck my wife into helping. And vow that next year will be different.

Same as last year.

Kevin said...

The irony of celebrating freeing the slaves while mailing your mandatory tax payment would have been too much?

Kevin said...

"Huh? The marathon goes nowhere near Revere's route. The last part sort of follows William Dawes's ride."

Not to mention Revere rode out of town while the marathon runs from the suburbs into the city. It's really more of a Hunger Games than an overthrow the government thing.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Because the Federal Govt can't assume its citizenry will plan ahead. Because the Federal Govt thinks we're all infants in need of help."

-- I used to work for a non-profit group that wrote about tax law and the IRS. And, in this particular case of turning things in on time, they're not wrong. While most people can get them in on time just fine. In 2014, it was something like 7 million people, I think (and a quick Google turns up a headline saying that too). So... by rolling back the date with grace periods they are saving themselves a lot of paperwork.

David said...

They did it so I could get my taxes finished on time. Thank you, Government, I love you so.

David said...

"Because the Federal Govt can't assume its citizenry will plan ahead. Because the Federal Govt thinks we're all infants in need of help."

When it comes to doing taxes, I can identify with that.

320Busdriver said...

Blogger Original Mike said...
Maybe D.C. needs to rest up for the buckets of money we'll be sending them.

I need the extra day to move some money around so I can write this effing check...

David said...

Filing is due Tuesday because Monday is a holiday in the District of Columbia for some reason or another. Probably to celebrate all the cash c-c-c-coming down the money river so they can divert enough to be what they are, the most affluent area in the United States.

Mark said...

It is one of the tragic realities that in order for black slaves to be treated like human beings, in emancipating them, they were treated in law like property -- first in the Emancipation Proclamation by deeming them to be contraband and then in acts like in D.C. where compensation was paid.

eddie willers said...

The act, which set aside $1 million, immediately emancipated slaves in Washington, D.C., giving Union slaveholders up to $300 per freed slave.

Did they ever make this offer to Southern slaveholders?

Mark said...

Did they ever make this offer to Southern slaveholders?

Again, in those states in rebellion, the slaves were deemed to be contraband, property used in aid of that unlawful rebellion and, hence, forfeited.

harrogate said...

Kinda disgusting how many public schools close on the Monday after Easter and bend over backwards to give some reason as to why.

Kinda reminds me people people who freak out when local rec leagues schedule a Wednesday baseball game after a lot of rain has messed up the schedule (which overtly omits Wednesday games): "how dare you make my child choose between God and baseball!"

Sad.

khesanh0802 said...

@campy you are absolutely right about the marathon route. Not only that but Revere got unhorsed by the Brits outside of Lexington and had to hoof it back there. Dawes was unhorsed as well (by the horse) and had to hoof it back to Lexington as well. Turns out that Samuel Prescott, who met Revere and Dawes in Lexington escaped to warn Concord and his brother Able, Jr. rode to Sudbury and Framingham. Revere et al. must have gone out whatever road has become Rte 2. Able, Jr. had a hell of a ride, but no marathon.

Ain't the internet wonderful!

jaydub said...

AA: "When has Tax Day ever been on a Tuesday when Tuesday wasn't the 15th?"

It's because the 16th is Emancipation Day, a legal holiday for gub'ment employees, but only in DC. Last year the 16th fell on a Saturday, so the holiday was pulled back to the 15th and tax day was pushed forward to Monday the 18th. This year the 16th was on a Sunday, so the holiday was pushed forward to Monday, the 17th, and Tax Day had to be pushed forward another day to Tuesday. This makes sense if you are a government employee in DC, but not so much anywhere else. That said, the answer to your question is that Tax Day will always be on Tuesday, April 18 anytime April 16 falls on Sunday.

JAORE said...

What? TUESDAY? That means I could have had another entire day before my panicked, "Where the hell is that 10-99?" meltdown.

What a waste.

The Godfather said...

As a New Englander (by upbringing and some of my ancestry) I'm familiar with Patriots' Day and I know it's on April 19 because the Longfellow poem dates Revere's ride to the "18th of April". Add 1 day.

My great-great-grandfather went to college (Bowdoin) with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and beat Longfellow in the poetry-writing competition.

My great grandfather (the son-in-law of the one who out-poeted Longfellow) was an abolitionist and led a delegation to meet with President Lincoln in the White House in June 1862, and proposed that Lincoln use his war powers as commander-in-chief to emancipate all the slaves. Lincoln was unwilling to go quite that far, but the Emancipation Proclamation made the Civil War a war to end slavery.

Most of my ancestors weren't early New England settlers. They came to America from Germany and Ireland in the 1870's. Holidays like Patriots Day and Emancipation Day, as well as Independence Day, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, etc., give all of us, whenever our ancestors immigrated here -- or whenever we ourselves immigrated here -- an occasion to ponder our history as Americans. We should treasure these holidays.

khesanh0802 said...

@The Godfather Well said.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Easter Monday is a legit holiday in most of the Commonwealth countries -- not just Oz but the UK, Canada, New Zealand ... Not, however, here, so I think Ann's explanation is correct.

Related: Mark Steyn's post on the relentless UK extension of Christmas, which currently runs something like a week.

Happy Christmas Bank Holiday Tuesday!