Good news! This year’s MN Federal and State income tax deadline has been pushed out to April 18th.
Why April 18th?
It makes sense that it’s pushed from the 15th, which is a Saturday this year. But why not then the following Monday?
on Monday, the District of Columbia celebrates Emancipation Day, which is normally April 16, but that’s a Sunday. Emancipation Day affects taxes the same way federal holidays do. Therefore, the tax deadline is pushed out to the following Tuesday, April 18, giving taxpayers three extra days to file their returns. ~ https://www.thebalance.com/why-is-april-17-tax-day-3306324
If you are getting a refund, the extended deadline may not be that big of a deal. Chances are, you’ve already filed. But for the estimated 20% of us that end up owing Uncle Sam, the few extra days allow procrastinators the weekend to stew in their misery just a bit longer.
Traditionally, the deadline is April 15th. Why?
Originally, the due date was March 1st.
The U.S. had a federal income tax for about a decade around the Civil War. It came back for good with the Revenue Act of 1913. At that time, the deadline was set for March 1.
According to WCCO’s Good Question series and reported by Heather Brown:
“Lawmakers offered no explanation for that date, but it seems likely that it was selected to give taxpayers adequate time to gather materials and complete their returns following the end of the tax (and calendar) year,” writes Joseph Thorndike, a tax historian with Tax Analysts. ~ http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2017/04/12/good-question-tax-day/
It seems as though we all needed a bit more time…
‘In 1918, Congress changed the deadline to March 15. Lawmakers changed it again in 1954 to April 15.
Thorndike says lawmakers thought Americans needed extra time to deal with the extra complexity and paperwork. It was also an opportunity for the IRS to spread out its workload over a longer period of time. ~ WCCO Reporter, Heather Brown
Why Income Tax at all?
According to TheBalance.com, a financial resources portal:
(originally) the federal government derived its revenue from tariffs on imports and exports. That hurt the middle class the most since they spend more of their income on these day-to-day necessities.
Congress created the income tax because it wanted to tax everyone more fairly. It had tried a national income tax in 1894. But it was unconstitutional because all federal taxes were based on state population at that time. The only solution was to amend the Constitution, and the 16th Amendment did just that. Congress gave everyone a year plus six weeks as the first deadline.
Only 358,000 Americans filed returns, which was fewer than 0.4 percent of the population.
The Revenue Act of 1918 moved the tax deadline back to March 15. It imposed a 77 percent tax on the highest income to raise money for the U.S. involvement in World War I. It also sought to replace tariffs, because World War I severely disrupted trade, significantly lowering the federal government’s revenue.
The income tax was so successful that the Internal Revenue Service couldn’t keep up. It hadn’t finished auditing 1916 returns by the time taxes were due in 1919. For more, see History of the U.S. Income Tax.
The Depression lowered incomes so significantly that people stopped paying taxes. Congress raised rates and cut exemptions to fund World War II. It became a patriotic duty to pay taxes. Irving Berlin wrote songs and the IRS made posters reminding people to pay. The Treasury Department began withholding tax payments from workers’ paychecks. The W-2 was born. (Source: “Never a Convenient Time for Childbirth, Death, or…” Bloomberg, April 11, 2016.)
In 1954, President Eisenhower asked Congress to reform the tax code. Congress added deductions and credits. ~ https://www.thebalance.com/why-is-april-17-tax-day-3306324
So… for those of you that have already files, we wish you a wonderful, relaxing weekend. For those of you who have yet to file, nose to the grind stone!
‘Connecting Rural Minnesota’