Typically, the federal tax-filing deadline falls on April 15. This year, though, you get an extra three days until April 18.
That’s because a local holiday in Washington, D.C., closes all federal offices located in the district, including the Internal Revenue Service, on April 15 this year.
D.C. observes Emancipation Day, which celebrates when President Abraham Lincoln signed an act on April 16, 1862, that freed 3,000 slaves in the district, eight months before The Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in all states. Usually, Emancipation Day is observed on April 16, but when it falls on a Saturday — like this year — it’s observed on Friday, April 15. (When it falls on a Sunday, it’s observed the following Monday).
That’s not all.
Residents in Maine and Massachusetts have until April 19 to file their federal tax returns because April 18 is a state holiday in both states. They observe Patriots Day to commemorate the battle of Lexington and Concord of the Revolutionary War. The actual anniversary of those battles falls on April 19, but both states observe the holiday on the third Monday in April.
Those who were victims of weather disasters or wildfires in Colorado, Tennessee, Washington, and Puerto Rico also may get an extension on the filing of their federal taxes, according to the IRS. Finally, if you requested an extension, you have until October 17 to file your federal returns.
State deadlines also can vary
Most states follow the federal filing deadline for their state tax-filing date. This year is no different, and most states have an April 18 deadline, except for a few outliers.
Maine and Massachusetts residents have until April 19 to file their state taxes — again because of Patriots Day. Residents of Iowa, Delaware and Virginia all have until May 2 for their state taxes because their typical deadlines (April 30 for Iowa and Delaware and May 1 for Virginia) fall on the weekend. And Louisiana residents have until May 16.
There are also no state tax returns required for residents in Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming because these states have no state income tax.
Changing tax deadlines
April 15 wasn’t always designated as tax day, according to the Library of Congress.
In 1913, Congress set March 1 as the deadline after passing the 16th Amendment. Congress then moved the deadline to March 15 in 1918. In 1954, during a major tax overall, the deadline was again moved from March 15 to the current April 15 deadline.
The last year that tax day fell on April 15 was in 2019. Because of the pandemic, the 2020 federal tax deadline was extended to July 15 and last year, it was extended to May 17.
Next year, tax day will likely fall on April 17, 2023, because April 15 is a Saturday. In 2024, tax day should return to its usual deadline of April 15, which is a Monday that year.
Ronda is a personal finance senior reporter for Yahoo Money and attorney with experience in law, insurance, education, and government. Follow her on Twitter @writesronda