EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

February 7, 2007

IRS extends filing deadline again

Procrastinating taxpayers, you're in luck. You have two extra days to file your returns this year, thanks to Paul Revere and Abraham Lincoln.



The regular filing deadline is April 15, but that's a Sunday this year. April 16 is Patriots Day in Massachusetts - home to the Internal Revenue Service's processing center in Andover - as well as Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C. So the IRS has extended the deadline for everyone in the country to Tuesday, April 17.



"It automatically goes to the next business day," IRS spokeswoman Peggy Riley said.



Andover accountant Thomas Fardy recommends filing your returns early, especially if you may have a refund coming. However, he understands that taxpayers have their habits, which are hard to break, and he doubts the extended deadline will change those.



"Some people are very intent on being in and out early, and others are equally as intent on waiting until the end," he said.



Riley agreed.



"People will still wait until that last minute, especially people who owe money," she said. "They want to hold on to it as long as they can."



Last year, when the tax deadline and Patriots Day also conflicted, the IRS extended the deadline only for taxpayers in the six states that send their returns to the Andover processing center. But this year, because Emancipation Day is in Washington, taxpayers throughout the country receive the same benefit.



The IRS still will be open April 16, because Patriots Day and Emancipation Day are not federal holidays.



"People can still contact us to get help, and they can still file their returns that day," Riley said.



Between 2,000 and 3,000 employees will be working 24 hours a day at the IRS facility in Andover - 75 percent of whom are temporary workers hired to help during the busy season between December and June.



The tax deadline will return to its normal date next year, when April 15 falls on a Tuesday.



box/graphic:



Tax holidays



Patriots Day



* Held on the third Monday of April, this holiday commemorates the April 19, 1775, Battle of Lexington and Concord, the first fight of the Revolutionary War. It is only celebrated in Massachusetts, Maine and Wisconsin. Paul Revere and William Dawes famously warned the militia that the British were coming the night before the battle.







Emancipation Day



* This Washington, D.C., holiday, observed April 16, marks the day in 1862 when President Abraham Lincoln freed 3,100 slaves in the city - nine months before he issued the Emancipation Proclamation for the rest of the country. It became a holiday in 2005.

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