The Internal Revenue Service announced today that the tax filing deadline has been extended to April 18 because of a holiday that will be observed in Washington on April 15, the usual tax filing deadline.

Emancipation Day marks the day - April 16, 1862 - that President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia, which preceded the Emancipation Proclamation by almost nine months.

It has been observed as a legal holiday in the nation's capital city since 2005. And because that date falls on a Saturday this year, the official observance will be on the preceding day.

The IRS noted that, for anyone requesting an extension, the revised deadline will be Oct. 17.

Nonetheless, the IRS said, it expects to get more than 140 million individual tax returns this year, most of them by April 18.

The Internal Revenue Service had already announced that, because of the recent tax law changes, some taxpayers would not be able to file until mid- to late February. This is to give the IRS time to reprogram processing systems.

Those who will have to delay their filing are:

  • Taxpayers claiming itemized deductions on Schedule A.

  • Taxpayers claiming the higher education tuition and fees deduction.

  • Taxpayers claiming the educator expense deduction.

   - Roslyn Rudolph