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Why is the tax deadline on April 17 this year?

The past year brought many new changes regarding taxes. In winter of 2017, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which overhauls many aspects of the American tax code. Many taxpayers have had to adjust to the myriad changes in tax laws. Another change that American taxpayers have had to adjust to this year is the extended tax deadline of April 17.

On just about any other tax year, the deadline would be April 15. But this year, there are an extra two days tacked onto the usual date. Not that anyone is complaining—most taxpayers jump at having some extra time to complete their returns. But just why is the deadline different this year?

  • The normal deadline is on a Sunday

This year, April 15 happened to fall on a Sunday. This makes it very inconvenient for last-minute taxpayers who mail paper returns. Because the mail is not delivered on a Sunday, their taxes would have been postmarked a day late, possibly incurring penalties from the Internal Revenue Service.

  • A holiday in Washington, D.C.

So, why not move the deadline to Monday? The nation’s capital of Washington, D.C. is celebrating Emancipation Day on April 16. Emancipation Day is a holiday observed in D.C. to honor President Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Act of 1862. It is a legal holiday in the capital, and city workers have the day off.

  • Moving the deadline to Tuesday

As a result, Tax Day was pushed to Tuesday, April 17. Tomorrow will be the last day to file your 2017 taxes without risking a hefty penalty. Next year, the deadline will return to April 15.

If you still have not finished your taxes, fear not. There are many Americans who are still rushing to fill out their returns. If rushing to fill out your taxes does not sound appealing, you also have the option of filing for an extension. The IRS allows some taxpayers an extension to avoid penalty and interest charges. Last-minute taxpayers have the option of working with a tax professional like an attorney who has experience in tax planning.

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