Tax Day in United States

Quick Facts

Tax Day is the deadline for United States residents to file details of their income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) so that their liability for income tax can be assessed.

Local names

NameLanguage
Tax DayEnglish
Día de la FiscalíaSpanish
יום מסHebrew
يوم الضرائبArabic
조세의 날Korean
Tag der Steuer (Tax Day)German

Tax Day 2014

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tax Day 2015

Wednesday, April 15, 2015
List of dates for other years

Many United States residents mark Tax Day as the deadline to file their income tax details to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The date is usually on or around April 15. However, this deadline may be extended to accommodate holidays or extreme weather conditions.

Tax day

Tax Day is an important date to remember.

©iStockphoto.com/joel-t

What do people do?

A large proportion of residents of the USA have to inform the IRS of all income that they received in the previous fiscal year. Some groups, particularly veterans, pensioners and some low-income families, do not have to file a tax return unless they wish to qualify for certain types of income subsidy. Others may wait until the last moment to file their tax return and pay any money they owe. Some people may find that filing a tax return is complicated, while others may feel that they should not have to pay income tax. In the United States, income tax returns may be filed on paper or electronically. Now, people are encouraged to file a return via Internet as this is efficient and reduces the risk of mistakes being made or documents being lost in the post.

Public life

Tax Day is not a federal public holiday in the United States. Schools, post offices, stores and other businesses and organizations are open as usual. Public transport services run to their usual schedules and no extra congestion on highways is to be expected.

Background

Income tax was first introduced in the United States of America in 1861. A rate of three percent was levied on incomes above $800 per year and the resulting revenue was used to help fund the American Civil War effort. However, income tax was seen as unconstitutional and the law was repealed in 1872. The idea of a tax on personal income, at a rate of two percent, was reintroduced in the Revenue Act of 1894, but the legal status of this kind of tax was still unclear. In 1913, the "Sixteenth Amendment" to the Constitution of the United States was ratified. This cleared the way for the modern income tax system in the USA.

The details of the income tax system have changed greatly since 1913. The top rates of tax have varied enormously and were particularly high during the First and Second World Wars and the Great Depression. Individuals and families with very low levels of income do not have to pay income tax and may receive some subsidy via the tax system.

In 1913 Tax Day, or the filing deadline, was fixed on March 1. However, it was moved to March 15 in 1918 and April 15 in 1955, where it has remained since then. If April 15 falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a civil holiday, such as Patriot's Day, the deadline is extended to the next working day. An extension due to a holiday may only affect certain states. In 2007, the residents of some states were granted an extension due to the disruption to public life in many areas caused by a huge Nor'easter storm. In some years in Washington DC, Emancipation Day may be the reason to extend the deadline for filing an income tax return (Tax Day). In 2007, the observance Emancipation Day in Washington DC had the effect of nationally extending the 2006 income tax filing deadline from April 16 to April 17. This 2007 date change was not discovered until after many forms went to print.

Tax Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
MonApr 161990Tax DayObservance 
MonApr 151991Tax DayObservance 
WedApr 151992Tax DayObservance 
ThuApr 151993Tax DayObservance 
FriApr 151994Tax DayObservance 
MonApr 171995Tax DayObservance 
MonApr 151996Tax DayObservance 
TueApr 151997Tax DayObservance 
WedApr 151998Tax DayObservance 
ThuApr 151999Tax DayObservance 
MonApr 172000Tax DayObservance 
MonApr 162001Tax DayObservance 
MonApr 152002Tax DayObservance 
TueApr 152003Tax DayObservance 
ThuApr 152004Tax DayObservance 
FriApr 152005Tax DayObservance 
MonApr 172006Tax DayObservance 
TueApr 172007Tax DayObservance 
TueApr 152008Tax DayObservance 
WedApr 152009Tax DayObservance 
ThuApr 152010Tax DayObservance 
MonApr 182011Tax DayObservance 
TueApr 172012Tax DayObservance 
MonApr 152013Tax DayObservance 
TueApr 152014Tax DayObservance 
WedApr 152015Tax DayObservance 
FriApr 152016Tax DayObservance 
MonApr 172017Tax DayObservance 
TueApr 172018Tax DayObservance 
MonApr 152019Tax DayObservance 
WedApr 152020Tax DayObservance 

Other holidays in April 2014 in United States

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