Tax Day

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Tax Day
Observed byUnited States
TypeNational
SignificanceDue date for federal individual income tax returns
DateTypically April 15
2019 dateApril 15 (Monday)
2020 dateApril 15 (Wednesday)

In the United States, Tax Day is a colloquial term for the day on which individual income tax returns are due to be submitted to the federal government. [1] The term may also refer to the same day for individual states, even where the tax return due date is a different day.

Tax returns in the United States are reports filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or with the state or local tax collection agency containing information used to calculate income tax or other taxes. Tax returns are generally prepared using forms prescribed by the IRS or other applicable taxing authority.

Federal government of the United States National government of the United States

The Federal Government of the United States is the national government of the United States, a federal republic in North America, composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and several island possessions. The federal government is composed of three distinct branches: legislative, executive, and judicial, whose powers are vested by the U.S. Constitution in the Congress, the President, and the federal courts, respectively. The powers and duties of these branches are further defined by acts of congress, including the creation of executive departments and courts inferior to the Supreme Court.

Contents

Since 1955, for those living in the United States, Tax Day has typically fallen on April 15. [1] For people who file a U.S. tax return and live outside the United States and Puerto Rico, Tax Day has typically fallen on June 15, because of the two-month automatic extension granted to filers by IRS Publication 54. [2]

Puerto Rico Unincorporated territory of the United States

Puerto Rico, officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and briefly called Porto Rico, is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the northeast Caribbean Sea, approximately 1,000 miles (1,600 km) southeast of Miami, Florida.

At least two local holidays in the United States sometimes coincide with Tax Day. First, Emancipation Day, a holiday in Washington, D.C. commemorating the emancipation in April 1862 of African slaves. It is observed on the weekday closest to April 16. Second, is Patriots' Day, a holiday in Maine and Massachusetts that celebrates the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1776, that initiated the American Revolutionary War. It is now celebrated on the third Monday in April. For both Patriots' Day and Emancipation Day, special rules apply. For Emancipation Day, when April 15 falls on a Friday, tax returns are due the following Monday. For both Emancipation Day and Patriots' Day, when April 15 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, tax returns are due the following Tuesday. [3] [4]

District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act Law that ended slavery in the District of Columbia

An Act for the Release of certain Persons held to Service or Labor within the District of Columbia, 37th Cong., Sess. 2, ch. 54, 12 Stat. 376, known colloquially as the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act or simply Compensated Emancipation Act, was a law that ended slavery in Washington, D.C. by paying slave owners for releasing their slaves. Although not written by him, the act was signed by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln on April 16, 1862. April 16 is now celebrated in the city as Emancipation Day.

Patriots Day Civic holiday in the USA

Patriots' Day is an annual event, formalized as several state holidays, commemorating the Battles of Lexington and Concord, and the Battle of Menotomy, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War.

Maine State of the United States of America

Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Maine is the 12th smallest by area, the 9th least populous, and the 38th most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states. It is bordered by New Hampshire to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast, and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec to the northeast and northwest respectively. Maine is the easternmost state in the contiguous United States, and the northernmost state east of the Great Lakes. It is known for its jagged, rocky coastline; low, rolling mountains; heavily forested interior; and picturesque waterways, as well as its seafood cuisine, especially lobster and clams. There is a humid continental climate throughout most of the state, including in coastal areas such as its most populous city of Portland. The capital is Augusta.

History

Federal income tax was introduced with the Revenue Act of 1861 to help fund the Civil War, and subsequently repealed, re-adopted, and held unconstitutional. The early taxes were based on assessments, not voluntary tax returns. Tax payment dates varied by act. [5]

The Revenue Act of 1861, formally cited as Act of August 5, 1861, Chap. XLV, 12 Stat. 292, included the first U.S. Federal income tax statute. The Act, motivated by the need to fund the Civil War, imposed an income tax to be "levied, collected, and paid, upon the annual income of every person residing in the United States, whether such income is derived from any kind of property, or from any profession, trade, employment, or vocation carried on in the United States or elsewhere, or from any other source whatever [. .. .]" The tax imposed was a flat tax, with a rate of 3% on incomes above $800. The Revenue Act of 1861 was signed into law by Abraham Lincoln. This Act introduced Federal income tax as a flat rate tax.

American Civil War Civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865

The American Civil War was a war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War is the most studied and written about episode in U.S. history. Primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people, war broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery.

The case of Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co. challenged the constitutionality of the Wilson–Gorman Tariff Act of 1894, which taxed incomes over $4,000 at the rate of two percent. The case was decided by the United States Supreme Court in 1895. The Supreme Court decided that the Act's unapportioned income taxes on interest, dividends, and rents were effectively direct taxes. The Act was therefore unconstitutional because it violated the Constitution's rule that direct taxes be apportioned among the states. [6] In 1913, eighteen years later, the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified. This Amendment gave the United States Congress the legal authority to tax all incomes without regard to the apportionment requirement. [7]

Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Company, 157 U.S. 429 (1895), affirmed on rehearing, 158 U.S. 601 (1895), with a ruling of 5–4, was a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the unapportioned income taxes on interest, dividends and rents imposed by the Income Tax Act of 1894 were, in effect, direct taxes, and were unconstitutional because they violated the provision that direct taxes be apportioned. The decision was superseded in 1913 by the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. A separate holding regarding the taxation of interest income on certain bonds was overruled by the Supreme Court in 1988 in the case of South Carolina v. Baker.

Wilson–Gorman Tariff Act Historical United States tariff reduction

The Revenue Act or Wilson-Gorman Tariff of 1894 slightly reduced the United States tariff rates from the numbers set in the 1890 McKinley tariff and imposed a 2% tax on income over $4,000. It is named for William L. Wilson, Representative from West Virginia, chair of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, and Senator Arthur P. Gorman of Maryland, both Democrats.

United States Constitution Supreme law of the United States of America

The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States. The Constitution, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government. Its first three articles embody the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches: the legislative, consisting of the bicameral Congress ; the executive, consisting of the President ; and the judicial, consisting of the Supreme Court and other federal courts. Articles Four, Five and Six embody concepts of federalism, describing the rights and responsibilities of state governments, the states in relationship to the federal government, and the shared process of constitutional amendment. Article Seven establishes the procedure subsequently used by the thirteen States to ratify it. It is regarded as the oldest written and codified national constitution in force.

The filing deadline for individuals was March 1 in 1913 (the first year of a federal income tax), and was changed to March 15 in 1918 and again to April 15 in 1955. [8] Today, the filing deadline for U.S. federal income tax returns for individuals remains April 15 or, in the event that the 15th falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, the first succeeding day that is not a Saturday, Sunday or holiday.[ citation needed ][ inconsistent ]

Alignment with state and District of Columbia holidays

Tax Day occasionally falls on Patriots' Day, a civic holiday in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and state of Maine, or the preceding weekend. When this occurred for some time, the federal tax deadline was extended by a day for the residents of Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and the District of Columbia, because the IRS processing center for these areas was located in Andover, Massachusetts and the unionized IRS employees got the day off. [9] In 2011, the Monday, April 18, Tax Day fell on Patriots' Day. However, federal filings were directed to Hartford, Connecticut, Charlotte, North Carolina and Kansas City, Missouri [10] and there was no further extension for Maine, Massachusetts or other surrounding states' residents. [11] [12] The Maine state tax filing deadline was still extended to April 19 in 2011 by Patriots' Day. [13] [14] [15]

Emancipation Day is celebrated in Washington D.C. on the weekday nearest April 16, and under a federal statute enacted decades ago, holidays observed in the District of Columbia have an impact nationwide. If April 15 falls on a Friday then Emancipation Day is celebrated on the same day and tax returns are instead due the following Monday, April 18. [16] [17] When April 15 falls on a Saturday or Sunday then Emancipation Day is celebrated on the following Monday and tax returns are instead due on Tuesday. [18]

In 2007 a powerful storm and flooding affected the eastern coast, and certain states were granted additional time to file. In some cases, the deadline was extended to as late as June 25. [19] [20]

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 "History of the US Income Tax". Library of Congress. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  2. Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Residents Abroad (Report). Internal Revenue Service. 2013. Publication 54.
  3. "Internal Revenue Bulletin: 2011-10". Internal Revenue Service. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  4. Roos, Dave. "Why do Americans pay taxes on April 15?". How Stuff Works. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  5. See, for example, Revenue Act of 1861, section 50, Revenue Act of 1862 section 91.
  6. U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 9.
  7. "Common Interpretation: The Sixteenth Amendment". National Constitution Center. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  8. Sung, Jessica (April 15, 2002). "Why Is Tax Day April 15?". Fortune. Retrieved March 11, 2010.
  9. "Patriot's Day 2007 Gives Some Taxpayers Extra Tax Time, IR-2006-170". Internal Revenue Service. November 8, 2006. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  10. "Massachusetts: Where to File Addresses for Individual Taxpayers". Internal Revenue Service. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  11. Ohlemacher, Stephen (April 18, 2011). "Who's paying taxes? Half of us". Portland Press Herald. Associated Press. Why is the deadline today? (sidebar). Retrieved April 18, 2011. No reference to Patriots' Day and deadline pegged at "midnight tonight."
  12. "Tax Day 2011: Tax Deadlines for Tax Year 2010". eFile . Internal Revenue Service. n.d. Retrieved April 18, 2011. No reference to Patriots' Day and deadline pegged at April 18.
  13. "Due Dates for Certain Tax Forms" (PDF). Maine Tax Report. 21 (1). January 2011. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  14. Edelson, Harriet (January 8, 2019). "Here's What the Shutdown Means for Filing Your Taxes". aarp.org. AARP. Retrieved March 15, 2019. For most taxpayers, Monday, April 15, 2019, is the filing deadline to submit 2018 tax returns. Because of the Patriots’ Day holiday on April 15 in Maine and Massachusetts taxpayers who live in those states have until April 17, 2019, to file their returns, the IRS said.
  15. "Patriots' Day Gives Certain Taxpayers Extra Day to File Return". accountingweb.com. AccountingWeb. February 14, 2002. Retrieved March 15, 2019. April 15 – known to most citizens as the day tax returns are due – is a state holiday in Maine and Massachusetts. The Patriots' Day holiday celebrates the battles that began our nation's fight for independence. The real Patriots' Day is April 19, but the day is officially celebrated in these two states on the nearest Monday, which this year is April 15...Residents of Massachusetts also file in Andover and are granted the tax holiday. Residents of Maine file in Philadelphia this year, but are granted the holiday because the Maine post offices will be closed on the 15th.
  16. Ellis, Blake. "Tax day extended to April 18". CNN Money. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  17. "2016 Tax Season Opens Jan. 19 for Nation's Taxpayers". U.S. Internal Revenue Service. December 21, 2015. Retrieved April 7, 2016. The filing deadline to submit 2015 tax returns is Monday, April 18, 2016, rather than the traditional April 15 date. Washington, D.C., will celebrate Emancipation Day on that Friday, which pushes the deadline to the following Monday for most of the nation.
  18. Iszler, Madison (April 14, 2017). "April 15 is always Tax Day, right? Well, not this year. Here's why". News & Observer . Retrieved April 15, 2017.
  19. "IRS Gives Northeast Storms Victims Until April 26 to File Tax Returns". Internal Revenue Service. April 18, 2007. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  20. "IRS Grants Tax Relief for Certain Northeast Storm, Flooding Victims; Taxpayers Have Until June 25 to File Returns". Internal Revenue Service. Retrieved March 27, 2013.