What Does Washington, D.C. Emancipation Day Have To Do With You?

Traditionally, the deadline for filing your taxes falls on April 15 unless that day happens to be on a Saturday, Sunday or federal holiday. In 2011, April 15 falls into none of those criteria. It falls on a Friday, and there’s no federal holiday on that day. Well, in 2011, April 15 falls on Washington, D.C.’s Emancipation Day only because it’s normal celebration day is April 16 and this year April 16 falls on a Saturday. So, their day of celebration this year will be April 15 and that brings us to what it has to do with you. Because of that little fact, the IRS announced that the due date for 2010 individual federal income tax returns will be Monday, April 18, 2011.

This gives you a whole weekend extra to get your 2010 tax return filed electronically or postmarked by April 18 to be considered timely filed by the IRS.

Emancipation Day is celebrated in many former British colonies in the Caribbean and areas of the United States on various dates in observation of the emancipation of slaves of African origin. It is also observed in other areas in regard to the abolition of serfdom or other forms of servitude.

On January 4, 2005, legislation was signed to make Emancipation Day an official public holiday in the District of Columbia that is celebrated on April 16. On that day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act for the release of certain persons held to service or labor in the District of Columbia. The Act freed about 3,100 enslaved persons in the District of Columbia nine months before President Lincoln issued his famous Emancipation Proclamation. The District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act represents the only example of compensation by the federal government to former owners of emancipated slaves.

Take note that the change in the April 15 filling date DOES NOT move all individual federal income tax deadlines forward. The overseas exception due date will still be June 15, 2011. However, individual federal income tax returns on a regular extension will be due on Monday, Oct.17, 2011; that’s because Oct. 15, 2011, (the regular extension due date) falls on a Saturday.

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