One more week of tax season. That is, through next week’s Monday, April 18th.
But this Friday is April 15th, you say. Why is the tax deadline randomly extended to Monday?
THANK YOU FOR ASKING, I’VE BEEN DYING TO
Once upon a time, Americans held slaves. I know! So shameful. It was way before our current civilized times (though not actually so long ago, historically speaking.)
Formal slavery was legal from 1619 until 1865 in the area that is now the United States. Many slaves were of African origin and many slave owners were of European descent, although some other groups also had slaves. By 1860, there were about four million slaves in the United States. On April 16, 1862, Abraham Lincoln, who was the US president at the time, signed the Compensated Emancipation Act, which freed more than 3000 slaves in the District of Columbia. However, slavery did not officially end in the rest of the United States until after the American Civil War, which lasted from 1861 until 1865.
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution formally ended slavery in the US. It was proposed on January 31, 1865, and ratified by 30 of the then 36 states in the same year. However, it was only ratified in Mississippi in 1995. Slavery and the racial divisions, upon which it was based, have had and continue to have huge implications for individuals and American society as a whole.
Emancipation Day in Washington DC marks the anniversary of the signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act. On January 4, 2005, legislation was signed to make Emancipation Day an official public holiday in the District of Columbia. Elsewhere in the United States, the emancipation of slaves is celebrated in Florida (May 20), Puerto Rico (March 22) and Texas (June 19). There are also similar events in many countries in the Caribbean, including Anguilla, Bahamas, Bermuda, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Many of these events occur during the first week of August as slavery was abolished in the British Empire on August 1, 1834.
Sidebar: Uh…please tell me “Mississippi” and “1995” is a misprint. I have a feeling it isn’t. Yuck.
Sidebar deux: Did you notice it is the “Compensated” Emancipation Act? Yeah, the government forced D.C. slave owners to free their slaves, but paid them an average of $300 per slave to do so. Double yuck.
So, because the teeny tiny District of Columbia takes a holiday on April 16th to celebrate the emancipation of slaves, and because April 16th falls on a Saturday this year, they celebrate on Friday, April 15th, instead, thereby extending the tax filing deadline to Monday the 18th since Friday the 15th is a “holiday.”
It is only a holiday for Washington D.C. ONLY WASHINGTON D.C. I am vexed.
I suppose you are all, “Whee! Three more days to file my taxes! Yippee!”
Here’s the thing: if you have procrastinated this long and still need three more days to get your taxes done, you are a loser. My apologies but it cannot be denied. The truth hurts. Loser.
I shall now take my grumpy ass into the shower and hope for a mood change before I set off for one more week in the nicely painted and decorated, beautifully furnished, clean, technologically advanced office I call Hell.
Happy Monday, people.