IRS.com reports 2015 individual income tax returns will actually be due on Monday, April 18, 2016 (rather than Friday, April 15, 2016). Here’s why:
Emancipation Day: April 15, 2016
Emancipation Day is an official public holiday in the District of Columbia. It usually falls on April 16, but when April 16 is a Saturday – which it is in 2016 – then Emancipation Day moves to the previous day (Friday).
Here is an excerpt from IRS Revenue Ruling 2015-13:
“The term ‘legal holiday’ includes a legal holiday observed in the District of Columbia…. Emancipation Day, April 16, is a legal holiday in the District of Columbia [D.C. Code § 28-2701 (2010)]. When April 16 is a Saturday, the preceding day is the observed holiday.”
That means Emancipation Day will be observed on Friday, April 15, 2016.
Since Emancipation Day is a legal holiday, it gets precedence over the April 15 tax deadline. Here is another excerpt from IRS Revenue Ruling 2015-13:
“Section 7503 of the Code provides that, when April 15 falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, a return is considered timely filed if it is filed on the next succeeding day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.”
That means the Federal tax deadline is pushed to the following Monday. Therefore, most individuals will have until Monday, April 18, 2016 to file their income tax return. Note that this also affects the deadline for the first installment payment of estimated income tax (see below).
Estimated Income Tax Payments
The first installment payment for 2016 estimated tax (Form 1040-ES) is due by April 18, 2016 – the same deadline for 2015 Federal tax returns. The estimated tax deadline applies to all U.S. taxpayers. Therefore, in order to be considered timely, the first installment of 2016 estimated tax must be paid by Monday, April 18, 2016.
The Bottom Line
• When April 16 is a Saturday, the District of Columbia observes Emancipation Day on April 15. This makes Monday, April 18, 2016 the regular due date for filing 2015 income tax returns.
• Estimated tax payments are due on Monday, April 18, 2016.