Tax Day

Tax Day isn’t a holiday in the United States. Instead, it’s a day on which taxpayers have to have their income tax information submitted to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This day usually falls on April 15th, but severe weather conditions or holidays may cause Tax Day to be moved to another day.

History of Tax Day

In 1861, the very first income tax was started in the United States. This initial income tax was used to fund the American Civil War effort by levying a 3% tax on all households that made over $800 a year. Although it was wildly successful, many Americans didn’t like it, and by 1872 it was repealed as being unconstitutional.

However, the idea of taxing personal income didn’t go away. Instead, it was reintroduced in 1894 under the Revenue Act. This tax levied a 2% tax on all personal income. Many people at the time didn’t believe that the federal government should be able to levy taxes on personal income.

In 1913, the issue was solved once and for all when the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. This gave the federal government the power it needed to levy income taxes and allowed for the creation of a more modern tax system.

Over the years, the federal income tax has changed dramatically. During WWII, the top income brackets were heavily taxed. Nowadays, the upper income pays significantly less tax—although the top brackets make significantly more money than they ever did. The very poor traditionally do not pay income tax and may, in fact, receive some form of rebate or subsidy from the federal government.

Originally, the deadline for filing federal taxes, or Tax Day, was on March 1st. However, it changed to different dates over the years. After WWI, it was moved to March 15th and eventually was changed to April 15th during the 1950s. However, if that date falls on the weekend or on a holiday, then it is extended to the next business day.

Tax Day Customs & Traditions

In the United States, Tax Day is not a federal or state holiday. Therefore, schools, businesses, and other organizations remain open. Some post offices stay open later to ensure that people can have their tax returns postmarked before midnight. Post offices may be extremely congested on this day, depending on their location.

Where is it celebrated?
United States (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2024)
April 15 Monday
Next year (2025)
April 15 Tuesday
Last year (2023)
April 18 Tuesday