Tax Day Is Tomorrow Because of DC Abolition Day

A blog about business and economics.
April 16 2012 8:05 AM

Why It's Not Tax Day Until Tomorrow

D.C. Emancipation celebrated for the first time
D.C. Emancipation celebrated for the first time

Courtesy Moorland Spingarn Research Center.

Taxes would normally have been due over this past weekend, but it was the weekend so how about today, Monday, April 16? Well, no, they're not due today either. The good people at the Internal Revenue Service will give you all the way until tomorrow to finish up. Why?

Well, because of Emancipation Day, a District of Columbia holiday that celebrates the April 16, 1862, passage of the D.C. Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862, which freed 3,100 enslaved residents of D.C. and offered financial compensation to their owners. This was meant to be the Lincoln administration's model for the end of slavery throughout the country, but slave owners proved consistently uninterested in ending slavery through any means whatsoever.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

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