Today is April 15th, so for those of us in the United States who file taxes, this is often a dreaded date due to the complicated paperwork we must gather and prepare, and due to the time we must spend completing the forms (or paying the accountant (ouch!)) to do it for us. Then there is the little matter of potentially writing additional checks to Uncle Sam or to the state even though we’ve paid taxes throughout the year. “Will I owe money or will I get a refund?” [As an aside, people often assume that because I am a mathematician, I automatically am an accountant too. Nope. I have lots of former students who are C.P.A.s, though, and one of them will definitely take over our taxes when our current accountant retires.]
But even though today is April 15th, it is not Tax Day. Why? Because it’s Saturday. If April 15th falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, then the deadline gets moved to Monday. So why aren’t taxes due on Monday the 17th? Because Easter* is on Sunday the 16th this year? No. Taxes are due on Tuesday the 18th because Monday the 17th will be a legal holiday in Washington D.C. and many offices will be closed. Washington D.C. annually celebrates April 16, 1862, the day President Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act. Since the 16th falls on a Sunday this year, that celebration moves to Monday the 17th.
So you have a few more days to file those taxes, or to file an extension!
*For a piece I wrote on how to calculate Easter’s date, click here.