CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Individual income tax returns are due to the Federal Government Tuesday.

The Treasury Department is already warning taxpayers to expect delays due to a worker shortage and paperwork backlog. The IRS is urging taxpayers to file online.

If you can’t make Tuesday’s tax deadline this year, you should file an extension.

The original due date for individual income tax returns was March 1, just over a year following the adoption of the 16th Amendment on Feb. 3, 1913.

Back then, not many taxpayers needed to file a tax return, since the filing requirement applied only to single filers with income over US $3,000 and married filers with income over $4,000 – about $90,000 and $120,000 in today’s dollars, respectively.

In 1914, this threshold represented approximately the top 4% of earners, so filing a tax return was a burden reserved for the wealthy.

Quickly realizing that many taxpayers needed more time to complete their returns, Congress pushed the tax deadline back to March 15, effective in 1919. And on that date, Tax Day stood for over 30 years.

But with more taxpayers needing to file returns as the filing threshold declined and the tax laws grew in complexity, Americans needed even more time to correctly complete their returns.

So in 1954, Congress overhauled the tax system and adopted a major revision to the Internal Revenue Code.

This change also came with another extension of the tax deadline for individuals, pushing the due date back again to the familiar April 15.

The intent of giving taxpayers an extra month to prepare their returns was to allow more people the ability to file on time – and often get refunds more quickly. Not only did this change assist taxpayers, but it also allowed the Internal Revenue Service more time to spread out its workload.

The April 15 deadline proved to be a more reasonable deadline, and it has stuck with U.S. taxpayers for almost 70 years.

Any time a deadline falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the IRS pushes the due date to the following Monday, which would be April 17, 2023. However, any federal holiday also pushes the date back by a day. Since Emancipation Day, which usually falls on April 16, is observed in Washington, D.C., on April 17 this year, Tax Day was pushed back an additional day to Tuesday, April 18, 2023.