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Emancipation Day in District of Columbia Pushes Tax Deadline to April 17

Civil War Re-Enactor at Emancipation Proclamation Unveiling (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

Wondering why the tax deadline is midnight on April 17?

April 16 is Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia so many offices are closed in the Nation’s Capitol.

April 15 fell over the weekend and due to the holiday Monday, the Internal Revenue Service gives tax filers until midnight on Tuesday, April 17, to get their returns or an extension postmarked.

Emancipation Day in South Carolina 1866 (Three Lions/Hulton Archive/Getty)

On April 16, 1862 the District of Columbia passed the D.C. Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862 which freed 3,100 enslaved residents of D.C. and offered financial compensation to their owners.

This was meant to be the Abraham Lincoln administration’s model for the end of slavery throughout the country, but slave owners were uninterested in ending slavery through any means whatsoever.

Due to the holiday, the tax deadline falls on April 17 at midnight to file your taxes or put in for an extension.


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