There was a time—not all that long ago, really—when today would have been pretty busy for a lot of folks.
They would be trying to finish their income tax returns in time to mail them to meet the midnight postmark deadline for that annual dreaded event called tax day.
Well, you can rest a bit easier this morning. Even though April 15, the normal deadline, fell on Sunday the IRS doesn't require returns or extension forms to be sent until Tuesday this year. That's because today is a holiday in the nation's capital called Emancipation Day, which marks the day President Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves in the District of Columbia.
Basically the same thing happened last year when April 15 fell on a Saturday. Emancipation Day was Monday and so tax day was delayed until Tuesday.
In days gone by, those who waited until the last day to complete and mail their tax returns could expect plenty of company at the post office. You would see lines of cars at the drive-through drop-off boxes. And usually postal workers stood nearby to assist and the lobby would stay open longer than normal for those who needed stamps.
These days we suspect some still wait, but it seems a lot of folks are taking advantage of online tax filing, which has the added benefit of speeding a refund to those who are entitled to one.
In any case, if you haven't filed yet be sure to complete and mail your return by Tuesday midnight. And to avoid interest and penalties, the Internal Revenue Service offers a few tips for those filing at the last minute:
1. Double check your figures and math..
2. Double check all the Social Security numbers on the forms.
3. Be sure to sign your form and, if filing a joint return, have your spouse do so as well.
4. Attach all the required schedules and documentation.
5. Get it mailed by Tuesday or send in a request for extension.
No one likes paying taxes but there is a bright spot. Next year taxpayers will see any benefits they might receive from President Donald Trump's tax cuts. So maybe, just maybe, tax day will be less of a chore.