It is mandatory in the US to file personal income tax every year on April 15. We take a deep research into matters of tax extension; putting into perspective the founding of tax extensions, why tax extensions exist and how they have helped US citizens.
Income tax was introduced in 1861 with a sole reason to fund the Civil war. It was later re-adopted, repealed and subsequently declared unconstitutional. Taxes then were out of assessment unlike today where they are voluntary tax returns.
The deadline for filling returns was on March 1st 1913-was the initial year of the federal income tax. It was later changed to March 15th in 1918, then again to April 15th in 1955. Until today, individuals are expected to file their federal income tax returns by 15th April which is the deadline. However, under the following circumstances, the deadline can be automatically extended:
- If it falls on a weekend; Saturday and Sunday
- When it falls on a public holiday
In the above cases, the tax returns should be filed on the following succeeding day that is not a public holiday, Saturday or a Sunday.
Here are incidents whereby the date to file returns had to be extended;
Tax day sometimes fall on Patriot’s day or the weekend before. Being a legal holiday in the state of Maine and common wealth of Massachusetts, federal tax day was extended for one day for those who resided in Maryland, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, New york and the city of Columbia. This was also because of the location of the IRS center and the fact that workers of the center got the day off.
Tax day in 2007 was on April 17 because April 15 was on a Sunday and the following day which was a Monday was Emancipation Day. This is a Holiday in the Columbian district.
Additional time has also been observed to have been granted when the North east was affected by storm and flooding. Exceptionally in 2011 and 2016, tax return deadline was extended to as late as June 18.
These extensions help the affected states to enjoy adequate time when it comes to filling their federal tax returns without having to make a request.
US citizens or foreign resident living overseas, as well as a military on call outside US on the return due date, automatically qualifies for a two month extension to pay the amount due without requesting for an extension.
Penalties for late tax payment are assessed from the two month extension date even though interest on tax paid later than the due date still applies.
With the extension, US residents can comfortably file their federal income tax return even after holidays, weekends or when not available during the due date without tough penalties.