IRS Filing Extension with No Penalty

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Remember that song “The Morning After,” also known as “The Song from The Poseidon Adventure?”  I think Maureen McGovern made that song a hit.  Well, I believe this morning is “the morning after.”  The morning after the deadline for U.S. taxpayers to file their income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service.  I was NOT in line at the post office late last night to mail my return, were you?

In case you didn’t complete all of that large project, you may have simply filed an extension.  The IRS still expects the tax payment even if you haven’t submitted the completed return details.  If you don’t submit your payment with your extension, then penalties and interest can accrue unless you meet certain criteria.

However, THIS year, 2011, everyone received an extension!  The normal due date for filing returns is April 15th, but this year it was extended until April 18th!  With no penalty!  Simply because of a holiday observed in the District of Columbia – Emancipation Day.  This holiday is regularly observed on April 16th – the date in 1862 when U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act for the District of Columbia.  In years that the holiday falls on a Saturday, it is observed on the preceding Friday – April 15th.

Did you know that yesterday, the third Monday in April, was also a holiday in Massachusetts and Maine?  Yes, Patriots’ Day, commemorating the April 19th anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War.  State, county, and municipal government offices are closed on this civic holiday.

No, my life isn’t consumed with trivia.  But – holidays and special dates like deadlines are important!  As project managers, we must be aware of such days and the impact on our project schedules.  Even if we do not observe a particular holiday in our locales, it does not mean that project team members in other locations do not get to observe their local holidays.  As we plan project activities and schedules, we must respect the cultural norms and traditions of our team members in other states or other countries.  Others should not be required to work and conform with our local schedules; we must respect and conform our project schedules to consider the norms of our team members locales.

Part of our professional responsibility, as detailed in the 3rd chapter on Respect in PMI’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, is to be cognizant and respectful of others in areas of culture, nationality, tradition, and heritage.

Whether preparing to sit for the PMP® Exam, or just to improve your own best practices in project management – remember to respect the traditions of your remote team members and other project associates.