April 15, 2010

What’s with April 15th?

Today marks the one blemish in April’s usually blooming record: Tax Return Day. Eh, well, April is also the beginning of tornado season, but I digress. A post office’s nightmare and a CPA’s dream, tax season gives a whole new light to mathematics and itemization. People find themselves scrambling through old shoeboxes for missing receipts and trying to mentally calculate volunteer work and “charitable” donations they can claim in hopes of squeezing every penny out of their return.

But why April 15th? Who chose this day to make people sweat an audit and pile themselves in papers? So I decided to dig around a little bit, and by a little bit, I went straight to Wikipedia. C’mon, everyone uses it, but no one wants to admit to.

According to the highly distinguished website, Congress was the one to put “tax day” on the calendar. When we, “America”, ratified the 16th Amendment in 1913, which allowed Congress to institute an income tax, they chose March 1st of the following year as the deadline for filing returns. However, with the Revenue Act of 1918, which I probably need to pick up a text book to see what that was about, they up and moved the date to March 15th. It wasn’t until 1955 though, that Congress finally settled on the April 15th deadline. I think it was because April is prettier, but apparently it was to spread out the workload for the IRS. It’s also rumored that the growing middle class was filing more and more returns and the government wanted a little more time to hold on to the money. Sneaky.

Although fulfilled with this great public encyclopedia knowledge about something that I still get my dad to do for me every year (yes, I’m 25), I also don’t want to spread lies. Therefore, I decided I needed to verify this information. After some intense Google searching, I stumbled across an article on CNN from April 15, 2002, which basically laid out the same information verbatim. And everyone trusts CNN.

So there you have it. That’s why April 15th is, well the day it is. So put the remote down, turn your laptop on and get to filling.

Contributed by: Keri Lynch

One Comment

  1. kendall   April 15, 2010 9:15 am / Reply

    very interesting article. something i’ve always wondered about. i like it :)

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