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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Flying for taxes

I always wondered why taxes were due on April 15th. It was not an easy task to answer the question. Here is what I did find, Yahoo to the rescue!

It mentioned that the first income tax was paid only by the very wealthy, and they tended to spend their summers vacationing. Thus, the IRS Commissioner argued, "The collection of taxes would be much easier if an earlier assessment was made, before they leave town." And so it was. This information made sense and explained the general time frame for the deadline but didn't pinpoint why April 15 was chosen.

It later reported that Congress passed the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which allows for the implementation of personal income tax, on February 3, 1913, and chose March 1 of the following year as the filing deadline. The deadline was changed to March 15 in 1918, and, as we learned at Tax History Project, to April 15 in 1955. Moving back the date from the end of the tax year served two purposes -- it gave the IRS more time to handle the work and, more importantly, more time to hang on to your money before issuing you a refund.

So now you know why taxes are due on April 15th! You can read more about this at

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