Monday, April 18 will be 2016 tax deadline for most individual taxpayers
Rev Rul 2015-13, 2015-22 IRB
In a Revenue Ruling and accompanying press release, IRS has: a) provided that Monday, Apr. 18, 2016 will be the tax deadline for 2015 income tax returns for individual taxpayers in most states; and b) provided a thorough analysis of the effect of Emancipation Day and Patriot’s Day on the due date of filings that are normally due on Apr. 15, when Apr. 15 falls on a weekend.
Background. Under Code Sec. 6072(a), individual income tax returns made on the basis of a calendar year must be filed on April 15. Code Sec. 6654(c) provides that the due date for the first required installment payment of estimated income tax is April 15.
When April 15 falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, a return is considered timely filed if filed on the next succeeding day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. The term “legal holiday” includes a legal holiday observed in the District of Columbia. (Code Sec. 7503)
Emancipation Day, April 16, is a legal holiday in the District of Columbia. (D.C. Code § 28-2701 (2010)) Notice 2011-17, 2011-10 IRB 540, provides that Emancipation Day is a legal holiday described in Code Sec. 7503. When April 16 is a Saturday, the preceding day is the observed holiday, and when it is a Sunday, the succeeding day is the observed holiday. (D.C. Code § 28-2701 (2010))
Code Sec. 7503 also provides that, in the case of any return required to be filed outside the District of Columbia but within an IRS district, the term “legal holiday” includes a statewide legal holiday in the state where the office is located. Patriot’s Day, the third Monday in April, is a statewide legal holiday in Massachusetts and Maine. (Mass. Ann. Laws. ch. 4, § 7(18) (Law. Coop. 1988); Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 4, § 1051 (1988))
Reg. § 1.6091-2(c) provides that an income tax return must be filed at an IRS service center whenever the instructions to that return so provide. Individuals who make their income tax returns on a calendar year basis generally must file their returns at the IRS service center (now known as a campus) designated in the applicable instructions. However, Reg. § 1.6091-2(d)(1) provides that, notwithstanding Reg. § 1.6091-2(c), income tax returns of persons other than corporations that are hand-carried must be filed with any individual assigned the responsibility to receive such returns in the local IRS office serving the legal residence or principal place of business of the person required to make the return.
Pursuant to Reg. § 1.6091-2(d)(1), individuals who reside in Massachusetts and Maine may elect to file their returns by hand at their local IRS Office located in Massachusetts or Maine. When the last day for residents of those states to file their returns by hand falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, Code Sec. 7503 extends the due date to the next succeeding day which is not a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday. IRS has interpreted this rule to extend the due date for filing income tax returns for all residents of Massachusetts and Maine pursuant to Code Sec. 7503, including those who do not elect to file by hand. Accordingly, the statewide observance of Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts or Maine affects the due date for income tax returns of individuals who reside in Massachusetts and Maine, but it does not affect the due date of income tax returns for individuals who do not reside in those states.
Rev Rul 90-5, 1990-1 CB 189, was issued at a time when certain taxpayers, including residents from Massachusetts and Connecticut, were required to file their returns at the Andover, Massachusetts Service Center. IRS no longer requires any taxpayers to file returns at the Andover Center. Rev Rul 90-5 concluded that residents of Massachusetts and Connecticut receive the benefit of the Massachusetts state holiday since their federal income tax returns had to be filed in Andover, Massachusetts. At the time that Rev Rul 90-5 was issued, the estimated tax payments of Massachusetts and Connecticut taxpayers were required to be sent to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a state that does not observe Patriot’s Day. Rev Rul 90-5 provided that those estimated payments were due on April 15, notwithstanding that April 15 was a statewide holiday in Massachusetts.
Facts. Rev Rul 2015-13 contains an example with facts specific to a Massachusetts taxpayer.
A, an individual who is a resident of Massachusetts, files his federal income tax return on a calendar year basis. As an individual resident of Massachusetts, A is required by IRS forms and instructions to file A’s return at the Kansas City, MO, IRS Campus. A also makes installment payments of estimated income tax for the calendar year. As a resident of Massachusetts, A is required by IRS forms and instructions to send A’s estimated income tax payments to Hartford, CT. In this situation, April 15 falls on the third Friday in April. Emancipation Day, April 16, is a legal holiday in the District of Columbia. The following Monday, April 18, is Patriot’s Day, a legal holiday in Massachusetts and Maine but not in any other state.
Due date for Massachusetts resident in IRS’s example. In Rev Rul 2015-13, IRS set out the due dates for the Massachusetts resident in its example.
The District of Columbia observes Emancipation Day on Friday, April 15 when April 16 is a Saturday. This makes Monday, April 18 the ordinary due date for filing income tax returns. However, in this situation, Monday, April 18 is the third Monday in April, the date that Massachusetts and Maine observe Patriot’s Day. Because residents of Massachusetts and Maine may elect to hand-carry their income tax returns to their local IRS offices, A has until the next succeeding day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday to file A’s income tax return. Thus, A has until Tuesday, April 19 to file his income tax return.
A is required to make installment payments of estimated income tax to a depository in Hartford, Connecticut—a state in which the third Monday in April is not a statewide legal holiday. Accordingly, A must make the first installment payment of estimated tax on or before the ordinary due date for income tax returns for the act to be timely. The fact that A is a resident of Massachusetts, a state in which the third Monday in April is a statewide legal holiday, has no effect on A’s due date for payment of A’s first installment of estimated tax. Thus, A must pay A’s first installment of estimated income tax on or before April 18.
Press release addresses 2016 specifically. In the press release that accompanies Rev Rul 2015-13, IRS said that, because Emancipation Day falls on Saturday, April 16, in 2016, it will be observed on Friday, April 15, which pushes the tax filing deadline to the next business day – Monday, Apr. 18, 2016. Thus, most individual taxpayers will have until Apr. 18, 2016 to file and pay their taxes. However, because Patriot’s Day will be observed next year on Monday, Apr. 18, 2016 in Maine and Massachusetts, residents of those states will have until Apr. 19, 2016 to file and pay their taxes.
RIA observation: Based on the reasoning in the above Massachusetts example, the due date for the first 2016 estimate for individual taxpayers will be Monday, Apr. 18, 2016, regardless of their state of residence.