Chicago’s week starts off with Monday’s federal income tax filing deadline—AKA, Tax Day. Chicago’s Tax Day may not be the kind of annual observance that people look forward to—although for homeowners at least, it does serve as a glorious reminder of the value of the home loan interest deduction. Then, too, for Chicago’s non-procrastinators, a second positive may already have been experienced with the early arrival of a U.S. Treasury refund check.
Along those lines, last Friday the IRS put out a news flash noting that a third of taxpayers had yet to file their returns. Of the 153 million individual returns Uncle Sam expects to receive for tax year 2018, 50,000,000 had yet to be filed. That meant that for many Chicago residents, the weekend was spent with less time devoted to the pro basketball and hockey playoffs or the Master’s golf tournament. Instead, teeth-gnashing encounters with the income tax forms had taken place—sometimes resulting in Automatic Extension form filings.
As a side note, taxpayers in Maine and Massachusetts get until April 17 to file because of their Patriots’ Day—a legal holiday celebrating the first battles of the Revolutionary War. Why two days instead of one? That’s because Tuesday is Emancipation Day in Washington D.C., and the IRS can’t require that anybody’s tax return be filed when they aren’t open for business. For residents in those two states, it must be nice to know that (at least when he’s got the day off) Uncle Sam keeps his hands in his own pockets.
If your own Tax Day has been observed without that vital home loan interest tax break, there’s next year to think about.