Monday, April 17, 2006

The weekend and Patriot's Day relieve some "taxing" pressures in the USA, especially for individuals in six eastern states & the District of Columbia

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - Two days after the Ides of Aprilis (i.e., April 15) has many connotations. Here are a few examples: Husband Appreciation Day, National Auctioneers Day, National Take a Wild Guess Day, That Sucks Day, and the anniversary of the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic. April 15 is also the birthday of one of my close relatives. Sometimes it falls on Easter Sunday (whose date fluctuates between March 22 and April 25), although usually it falls on Tax Day.

From year to year, Tax Day, like Easter, does not always fall on the same date. However, in contrast to Easter, which requires special rules and tables to schedule, Internal Revenue Service and state deadlines to file and pay taxes are typically set for April 15 or the first business day thereafter. However, once in a while, things get a bit more complicated.

Take 2006, for example. This year, April 15 was a Saturday, so individuals must file and pay any taxes due on the next business day. For most filers, that day was Monday, April 17. But April 17 was Patriot's Day, a state holiday in Massachusetts. Since the Andover, Massachusetts IRS processing center handles all tax returns for the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont, the state and federal deadline for individuals in those locations was moved to April 18, one day later than for everyone else in the U.S.of A. *

This has caused considerable confusion throughout the land. I'll attempt to make things E-Z by itemizing the actual 2006 deadlines below:
  • April 16, Sunday - Not a tax filing deadline anywhere in the USA.
  • April 17, Monday - The state and federal tax filing deadline everywhere except in the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont.
  • April 18, Tuesday - The state and federal tax filing deadline in the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont.

Need help filing your taxes? Go get it! G-men and women from the IRS and state taxation entities are there to help in the form of call-in lines, workshops and Websites offering tax tips, free e-filing and a wealth of other resources. You can access them online at and/or the state and territorial government homepages at Additional, easy-to-find resources include local and online tax preparation services (check them out with the Better Business Bureau, your State Attorney General and/or Consumer Affairs before giving them your business), tax software (which your credit union or bank may provide free access to), and local public libraries and volunteer organizations.

Wondering whether or not you should file and/or pay your taxes electronically? Visit pages addressing the following topics. The text and images below have been excerpted from that site:

  • "Online [electronic filing] options - fast, free. The information on this Web site is intended to help Individuals, Businesses, Tax Professionals, Charities and Nonprofits, and Software Developers find alternatives to paper returns." LMT NOTE: some e-filing services offer better prices to those linking from the IRS Website than to those using their software or accessing their websites directly. Additionally, some services charge separate fees for federal filings, state filings, and for filing extentions.
  • " Electronic payment options for individuals and businesses. Electronic payment options are convenient, safe and secure methods for paying taxes. Taxpayers can authorize an electronic funds withdrawal, use a credit card or enroll in the U.S. Treasury’s Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS)."
  • "Check Out Free File. Seventy percent of the nation's taxpayers are eligible for free tax preparation software and free electronic filing. See if you are eligible."

Need more time to prepare your federal tax return? Visit Extension of Time to File Your Tax Return and the appropriate state Website to learn how to apply for an extension of time to file. As the IRS notes:

Please be aware that an extension of time to file your return does not grant you any extension of time to pay your tax liability.

If you opt to delay the inevitable, take care to file your tax return by the extended deadline.

* Note: the IRS has postponed until late August the deadlines for individual and business taxpayers in areas hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina.

Good luck, and many happy returns!###