Tax Day: a Moveable Feast*

tax-return-image

When it comes to taxes, it seems that nothing is truly simple. If you are like most tax-paying patriots, you probably are targeting April 15th of this year as the deadline to “pay up or shut up.” It’s a calendar date almost as memorable as December 25th or the 4th of July. But you’re wrong.

There are oh so many reasons that taxes this year (and last year, and the next two years) will be due on a day other than April 15:

  • This year April 15th falls on a Saturday. Logic indicates the due date will be Monday the 17 Sorry – that day is already taken by the celebration of Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C. (E Day refers to the emancipation from slavery – not taxes – signed into law by Abraham Lincoln in 1862.) For most of us, this year tax day gets bumped to the 18th.
  • But if you were hit by a natural disaster i.e. tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes – lucky you – you may have until the end of May or June to file.
  • If you reside in Maine or Massachusetts, you need an extra day to observe Patriot’s Day so you don’t have to file until April 19th.
  • If you live or work abroad or are in the military and in a war zone, you get extra time. Seems logical.
  • And then there’s the “procrastinator’s deadline” that extends the usual due date by six months to give slow citizens time to sort those shoeboxes stuffed with W-2s, 1099s, charitable-giving records, etc. You need to request this dispensation.

Here’s an idea: perhaps we should move the tax due date closer to Election Day so we all can see what we get for what we pay? But that would take the proverbial “act of Congress” and we know how much time that takes. So it’s best to go online and check with the IRS and your state tax departments and find that shoebox and start sorting.

2010_US_Tax_Liability_by_Income_Group_-_CBO

*Details taken from WSJ


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