Tax Deadline Alert: 2015 Tax Returns Are Due April 18, 2016

Due to an overlap of the tax deadline and Federal/State holidays, the IRS has announced some new due dates for the upcoming 2016 tax season.

Most 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).

Patriots’ Day (Maine & Massachusetts Only): April 18, 2016

In Maine and Massachusetts, Patriots’ Day is a statewide legal holiday that’s observed on the third Monday of April. In 2016, Patriots’ Day will coincide with the Federal tax deadline (which was shifted to Monday, April 18). Therefore, taxpayers in Maine and Massachusetts will have until Tuesday, April 19, 2016 to file their individual income tax returns.

Residents of Maine and Massachusetts get an extra day because the IRS offices in those states are closed on Patriots’ Day (April 18, 2016). Since taxpayers are allowed to file their returns by hand-delivering the forms to a local IRS office, the due date is extended to the following day (April 19, 2016).

Here is an excerpt from IRS Revenue Ruling 2015-13:

“Pursuant to Treasury Regulation § 1.6091-2(d)(1), individuals who reside in Massachusetts and Maine may elect to file their returns by hand at their local IRS Office located in Massachusetts or Maine. When the last day for residents of those states to file their returns by hand falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, section 7503 extends the due date to the next succeeding day which is not a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday. We interpret this rule to extend the due date for filing income tax returns for all residents of Massachusetts and Maine pursuant to section 7503, including those who do not elect to file by hand. Accordingly, the statewide observance of Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts or Maine affects the due date for income tax returns of individuals who reside in Massachusetts and Maine, but it does not affect the due date of income tax returns for individuals who do not reside in Massachusetts or Maine.”

Taxpayers in Maine and Massachusetts are granted the extra day, whether they file by snail mail, e-file, or hand-delivery to an IRS facility.

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, whether or not they reside in Maine or Massachusetts. This is because taxpayers in Maine and Massachusetts send their estimated tax payments to an IRS facility in another state (that does not observe Patriots’ Day). Therefore, in order to be considered timely, the first installment of 2016 estimated tax must be paid by Monday, April 18, 2016.

NOTE: This is not tax advice but is provided for informational and educational purposes only. Check with your accountant, or a trusted tax professional who can provide helpful information and advice about the ever changing tax code.

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Formed in 1989, Denbeaux & Denbeaux is a law firm dedicated to providing top level legal representation to its clients. The partners, Marcia Denbeaux and Joshua Denbeaux, as well as senior and associate attorneys, represent individuals and businesses in New Jersey State and Federal Courts.