As an experienced NYC small business accountant, I know the date that every American has ingrained in their head for tax preparation. April 15th has been identified for decades as “Tax Day” and with the 2017 tax due date approaching quickly, you better have your paperwork in line. Although April 15th is always synonymous with finishing up that tax filing, this is not the date to mark on your calendar this year.

Believe it or not, this year your 2016 taxes are not due to the IRS until April 18, 2017. It is probably shocking for a few individuals who have always considered April 15th to be the date carved in stone. However, the IRS and U.S. government have the ability to move the tax deadline when appropriate. If you are curious as to why you have been given a grace period of three extra days, here is the rundown.

Why is the 2017 Tax Deadline on April 18th?

This year, April 15th falls on a Saturday. Government related business deadlines cannot fall on weekends. Therefore, the IRS was forced to move the due date for taxes this year. So why did they not choose April 17th, considering it is a Monday? The Washington D.C. Emancipation Day holiday is being observed on Monday, April 17th, which technically makes it a holiday. Since Tax Day cannot fall on a national holiday, Monday was out for the new deadline. In the end, the IRS was forced to push the date all the way to Tuesday, April 18th.

If you ask any NYC small business accountant, these three extra days will not make a big difference for most tax filers. If you are using a professional to help with your small business’ taxes, he or she should already have the paperwork organized and ready to be filed. The only thing that changes is that you will have a few extra days to put your tax return in the mail. To be considered on time, your tax return will need to be postmarked on or before April 18th, or you could potentially face penalties.

Has this happened before?

This is not the first time we have had a tax due date that was not scheduled on the traditional date of April 15th. Similar to this year, Washington D.C.’s Emancipation Day had an effect on the April 15th deadline in 2011 and 2012. The 2011 calendar forced the tax due date to be moved to April 18th. The tax due date was extended to April 17th in 2012 to reflect the holiday as well.

As an established NYC small business accountant, I have helped numerous clients through these past years with different tax due dates. While these few extra days give clients more time to get all of their receipts and paperwork organized, they do not change the outcome of the filing. If you need help meeting the April 18th deadline or have questions about your taxes, give our office a call. We are a full-service tax and accounting firm, ready to assist you in correctly filing your taxes to meet this year’s deadline.