Procrastinators, rejoice! Tax Day, a date that many people know about, but only procrastinators truly worry about, was moved and we had months of extra time! Now, I know most people are on top of their tax return filing and submit them well in advance of the deadline. Especially those who are owed a refund – cha-ching, am I right! Some people will put it off to the bitter end though. We just can’t help but procrastinate sometimes. Take this blog for example, I’ve been putting it off for days because I just could not get motivated to start until I was about to hit the deadline.
With all that is going on in the world, this year’s Tax Day was moved from April 15th to July 15th. A very necessary extension to give individuals, businesses, and their accountants extra time to get their records in order during a turbulent period. The change made me think it would be interesting to look into why Tax Day is April 15th in the first place. Spoiler Alert: Turns out I was wrong, it’s not very interesting, but oh well.
So, why was it normally on April 15th? Well, it actually started with a deadline of March 1st, established in 1913. March 1st, 1914 (the first filing) was just about a year after the 16th Amendment was enacted so it seemed to make sense. If you’re unfamiliar, the 16th Amendment granted Congress constitutional authority to levy taxes on corporate and individual income, so it was the start of the federal tax that we pay today. In 1918, it was moved to March 15th. And, finally, moved once more to April 15th in 1955. The reason for the two moves you ask?! To spread the workload of the IRS employees over a longer time period. Riveting stuff. But wait…sometimes Tax Day will not be April 15th! Even if there is no postponement! Because, if April 15th is on a weekend or holiday, it moves to the first normal weekday that follows. Truly fascinating.
Easily the most shocking discovery from this research was this link - IRS History Timeline. Honestly, the content is surprisingly well done and interesting for something coming directly from the IRS website. It covers a broader history while giving nice, succinct explainers of the major milestones.
Now, just to be thorough, let’s look at this year’s changes. As mentioned, and many (hopefully all!) of you already know, this year’s Tax Day was moved to July 15th. Meaning people can now wait until July 15th to submit their tax returns for 2019 and any owed payments for their 2019 return. July 15th is also an important date if you pay estimated tax payments throughout the year because it is the due date for both Q1 and Q2 payments. More information on deadline and the forms to complete them can be found here.
Are you reading this and only now realizing that there is no way you’re going to be ready to submit a return or pay any owed 2019 taxes in 2 weeks? Well, don’t fret, you’re in luck – you can get an extension to get an extra 6 months. However, no pressure here, but you’ll need to file for the extension by the 15th. See more here. One small caveat, the extension is only for the return, not any payment owed.
In conclusion, my fellow procrastinators, make sure you set a reminder for July 14th to do your taxes because we both know you’re not starting them now. And for all of you, I leave you with the wise words of Ellen DeGeneres: procrastinate now, don’t put it off.
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