Why Does Tax Day Exist?

Today is the deadline to file your income taxes in the United States unless you've filed for an extension. The Internal Revenue Service will collect financial information from millions of people living in the United States resulting in refunds or additional tax bills. With that in mind, lets examine how this day came to be in American life.

The origin of the income tax on individuals is generally cited as the passage of the 16th Amendment, passed by Congress on July 2, 1909, and ratified February 3, 1913; however, its history actually goes back even further. During the Civil War Congress passed the Revenue Act of 1861 which included a tax on personal incomes to help pay war expenses. The tax was repealed ten years later. However, in 1894 Congress enacted a flat rate Federal income tax, which was ruled unconstitutional the following year by the U.S. Supreme Court because it was a direct tax not apportioned according to the population of each state. The 16th amendment, ratified in 1913, removed this objection by allowing the Federal government to tax the income of individuals without regard to the population of each State.
— The Library of Congress http://www.loc.gov/rr/business/hottopic/irs_history.html

Historical Highlights of the IRS

1862 - President Lincoln signed into law a revenue-raising measure to help pay for Civil War expenses. The measure created a Commissioner of Internal Revenue and the nation's first income tax. It levied a 3 percent tax on incomes between $600 and $10,000 and a 5 percent tax on incomes of more than $10,000.

Why Is April 17 Tax Day?

Tax day falls on April 17, 2018. That's the deadline for filing taxes on income earned in 2017. Tax day is usually April 15 unless that day falls on a weekend or holiday. In 2018, it falls on a Sunday. On Monday, the District of Columbia celebrates Emancipation Day.

Some additional information.