If you live in the District of Columbia, your local income tax returns don’t have to be filed until April 17. That’s because the traditional April 15 Tax Day falls on a Sunday, and April 16 is a legal holiday in the District. What holiday, you ask? Why, Emancipation Day:
April 16 has special meaning for the District of Columbia. On that day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act, For the release of certain persons held to service or labor in the District of Columbia. The Act freed about 3,100 enslaved persons in DC nine months before President Lincoln issued his famous Emancipation Proclamation telegraphing the eventual end of slavery to the rest of the nation. The District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act represents the only example of compensation by the federal government to free enslaved persons.
And what better way to follow a day honoring emancipation than with an orgy of government confiscation that forces everyone to file detailed returns exposing every aspect of their financial lives to authoritarian regulators.