date to file 2016 taxes

The IRS and Compensated Emancipation

compensated emancipation

Do not try to call the IRS on Compensated Emancipation day, or any day if you can help it.

Compensated Emancipation was a compromise.

Four hours on the phone with the IRS yesterday is enough to make any sane Sacramento Realtor to consider driving to the city and leaping naked off the Golden Gate Bridge. What, with all the time one can spend on hold, there is plenty of time to ponder these types of alternatives. After calling 3 times and getting disconnected, my luck began to turn. Yes, the fourth call generated a live person who could refer me to a “balance due specialist,” who could not assist, and 3 more calls finally led me to another specialist who invested an additional 2 hours and still could not adequately resolve the outstanding issues.

Glancing at the calendar for today, April 15th is not a day to call the IRS.

I wish you a happy April 15th, though. And just so you know, your taxes (and payments) are not due until Monday, April 18th.

You might wonder why, because the 15th is a Friday. It’s because April 16th, which is a Saturday, celebrated on Friday instead, is a holiday observed in Washington, D.C. You might think the IRS owns a house and lives in Utah or Kansas City or some other foreign place like maybe Fresno, but its permanent residence is 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue. The holiday the IRS is observing (calling it a celebration seems the wrong description) today by allowing our tax returns to roll to Monday is Compensated Emancipation.

This particular holiday established on April 16, 1862, Compensated Emancipation, is the commemoration of Black Americans being released from slavery — but still having to work, just getting paid peanuts for it.

Not much different from today’s world.

Tips for Calling the IRS on Compensated Emancipation Day

You can call the IRS at 800.829.1040. Set aside an entire afternoon. Expect to hold at least 30 minutes, to continually get disconnected, and when you are finally connected to a live person, that person will say they cannot hear you speak on your cellphone and you will need to call back at least 2 or 3 more times from a landline, because the IRS will not call you.

When you finally reach a point that is close to a resolution, the person you are speaking to at the IRS will say your allotted time has expired . . . and hang up. The hour glass is full. But not before wishing you a good evening, followed by a threat to seize all of your personal property.

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