If you’ve been procrastinating filing your taxes this season, you’re in luck: You have another day to file thanks to a little-known loophole known as Emancipation Day.
This year, Tax Day falls on Tuesday, April 17, as opposed to the usual April 15 deadline. This is because April 15 fell on a Sunday, and April 16 is Emancipation Day, which is observed in Washington, D.C.
Emancipation Day commemorates the signing of the Emancipation Act by President Lincoln in 1862. Because it’s a legal holiday, most government workers, including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), are off on Emancipation Day, thus giving you an extra 24 hours to get your tax forms. But enjoy it while it lasts, as Tax Day will once again fall on its original April 15 date next year.
Because some of us need well beyond the two-day extension to get our taxes filed, this is where an “extension” comes in. The IRS is known to cut taxpayers slack by offering a generous extension to those with complicated tax filings. But regardless of your filing, you’ll still need to ask for an extension by April 17.
“April 17 is the deadline for most taxpayers to file an extension and to pay taxes owed to avoid penalty and interest charges,” the IRS states. “If you file for an extension, your return is due Oct. 15. Special rules may apply if you’re in the military or live outside the U.S.”
Tax season is stressful for many Americans, but staying on top of important deadlines is the best way to ensure you stay on the IRS’ good side.