Well, have you? If not, there is some good news from the Internal Revenue Service. In case you missed the news, you have two extra days to file your 2006 federal return. An official IRS news release on January 24, 2007, said so. Why? Here is the official explanation:
Taxpayers will have extra time to file and pay because April 15 falls on a Sunday in 2007, and the following day, Monday, April 16, is Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in the District of Columbia.
This means the entire country has an April 17 deadline. Previously, the April 17 deadline applied just to individuals in the District of Columbia and six eastern states who are served by an IRS processing facility in Massachusetts, where Patriots Day will be observed on April 16.
Emancipation Day, in case you were wondering, is the day, in 1862, that President Abraham Lincoln signed the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act, which ended slavery in the District of Columbia. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863.
So because of a holiday that is probably observed only by employees of the District of Columbia (and perhaps by United States employees in the District of Columbia), the whole country gets an extension.
The later filing deadline doesn’t just apply to federal tax returns, either. According to the IRS news release, it also applies to the following:
Requests for an automatic six-month tax-filing extension, whether submitted electronically or on Form 4868.
Tax year 2006 balance due payments, whether made electronically (direct debit or credit card) or by check.
Tax-year 2006 contributions to a Roth or traditional IRA.
Individual estimated tax payments for the first quarter of 2007, whether made electronically or by check.
Individual refund claims for tax year 2003, where the regular three-year statute of limitations is expiring.
The IRS news release refers readers to IRS Publication 509, Tax Calendars for 2007, for other filing and payment deadlines affected by the change.
Don’t get too complacent. At the time of this writing the Arizona Legislature is considering, but has not yet passed, a bill that would extend the deadline for filing of Arizona income tax returns to April 17, 2007. Until there is official word from the Arizona Department of Revenue about the 2007 filing deadline for Arizona individual income tax returns, I wouldn’t presume that the Arizona filing deadline will be extended to April 17 because of Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia. I would also not presume that it will cause filing deadlines in other states to be extended. Until the Arizona Department of Revenue announces otherwise, I would anticipate that state tax returns will be due on April 16 (because April 15 is on a Sunday this year).