Reminder: Tax Day is Next Week! (And Here’s Why It’s Not on April 15)

Tax day 2017
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Welcome to April, the month of rain, blooming flowers and emerging songbirds… and everyone’s least-favorite day: Tax Day.

Yes, winter has ended, but this date can still send a shiver up your spine.

Tax Day is the annual date when federal tax returns are due to the IRS. We all know it as April 15, but a bunch of stipulations throw a wrench in that date, and we have a whacky Tax Day every few years like some bizarro Leap Year.

When are Taxes Due?

Tax Day is April 15, right? Well, not this year.

In 2017, your federal tax returns are due April 18. Heads up: That’s next week.

Pst, if you haven’t filed yet, this free app makes it easy.

While you celebrate the three-day extension, here’s why it exists.

Emancipation Vacation

Annually on April 16, Washington, D.C. celebrates Emancipation Day. It honors the day in 1862 when President Lincoln signed the bill to free enslaved people in the District of Columbia.

(The more famous and broader-reaching Emancipation Proclamation would come nine months later.)

That means our nation’s capital gets a day off — everything in D.C. is closed that day.

Here’s where the holiday crosses paths with Tax Day: If Emancipation Day falls on a weekend, D.C. observes it on the nearest weekday.

So, if April 16 is a Sunday, yo’ boys at the IRS get Monday the 17th off. If it falls on a Saturday, they get off on —did you figure it out yet? — Friday, April 15.

The IRS, bless its soul, won’t push Tax Day forward on us. When the due date falls on a weekend or holiday, we get until the next business day to file.

So… When is Tax Day 2017?

Walk through it with me:

April 15, 2017 is a Saturday.

So, we’d wait until the following Monday to file.


April 16, Emancipation Day, is a Sunday. D.C. observes the holiday on Monday.

So no filing on Monday.

That means Tax Day 2017 is on Tuesday, April 18.

Yes, even calendars are more complicated in IRS-speak.

A little riddle, some quick calculus and shift of your abacus, and you’ve got your due date. Easy peasy.

For 2018? We recommend Googling it sometime in January.

Your Turn: Have you filed your taxes yet?

Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s written for Huffington Post,, Writer’s Digest and more, attempting humor wherever it’s allowed (and sometimes where it’s not).