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Myfreetaxes Publication 503 - Additional Material Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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American Holidays

Americans celebrate a variety of federal holidays and other national observances.


Federal Holidays

Find the dates for this year's federal holidays.

Federal law establishes the following public holidays for federal employees. If the holiday falls during the weekend, it may be observed on a different day.

Many government offices are closed on federal holidays and some private businesses may close as well. If you plan to visit a government office on or around a federal holiday, you should contact them to determine when they will be open. Find contact information for government departments and agencies.

New Year's Day

New Year's Day is January 1. The celebration of this holiday begins the night before, when Americans gather to wish each other a happy and prosperous coming year. Many Americans make New Year's resolutions. See the New Year's resolutions that are popular every year.

Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is celebrated on the third Monday in January. The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was an African-American clergyman who is recognized for his tireless efforts to win civil rights for all people through nonviolent means.

Washington's Birthday

Washington's Birthday is observed the third Monday of February in honor George Washington, the first President of the United States. This date is commonly called Presidents' Day and many groups honor the legacy of past presidents on this date.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a observed the last Monday of May. It originally honored the people killed in the American Civil War, but has become a day on which the American dead of all wars are remembered.

Independence Day

Independence Day is July 4. This holiday honors the nation's birthday - the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. It is a day of picnics and patriotic parades, a night of concerts, and fireworks.

Labor Day

Labor Day is the first Monday of September. This holiday honors the nation's working people, typically with parades. For most Americans it marks the end of the summer vacation season and the start of the school year.

Columbus Day

Columbus Day is a celebrated on the second Monday in October. The day commemorates October 12, 1492, when Italian navigator Christopher Columbus landed in the New World. The holiday was first proclaimed in 1937 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Veterans Day

Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11. This holiday was originally called Armistice Day and established to honor Americans who had served in World War I. It now honors veterans of all wars in which the U.S. has fought. Veterans' organizations hold parades, and the president places a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. In the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims held a three-day feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest. Many regard this event as the nation's first Thanksgiving. The Thanksgiving feast became a national tradition and almost always includes some of the foods served at the first feast: roast turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes, and pumpkin pie.

Christmas Day

Christmas Day is a celebrated on December 25. Christmas is a Christian holiday marking the birth of the Christ Child. Decorating houses and yards with lights, putting up Christmas trees, giving gifts, and sending greeting cards have become holiday traditions even for many non-Christian Americans. Find tips to help celebrate.

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Other Celebrations and Observances

There are many commonly observed celebrations in the United States that are not federal holidays. Some of these observances honor groups of people, such as National African American History Month and Women's History Month, or causes, such as National Oceans Month and National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. Many of these holidays and observances are proclaimed by the President ever year. View recent Presidential proclamations.

These are some of the most popular American celebrations and observances that occur every year.

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is February 2 and has been celebrated since 1887. On Groundhog Day, crowds gather in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to see if groundhog Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow after emerging from his burrow, thus predicting six more weeks of winter weather.

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14. The day was named after an early Christian martyr, and on Valentine's Day, Americans give presents like candy or flowers to the ones they love. The first mass-produced valentine cards were sold in the 1840s.

Earth Day

Earth Day is observed on April 22. First celebrated in 1970 in the United States, it inspired national legislation such as the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. Earth Day is designed to promote ecology, encourage respect for life on earth, and highlight concern over pollution of the soil, air, and water.

Arbor Day

National Arbor Day was proclaimed as the last Friday in April by President Richard Nixon in 1970. A number of state Arbor Days are observed at other times of the year to coincide with the best tree planting weather. The observance began in 1872, when Nebraska settlers and homesteaders were urged to plant trees on the largely treeless plains.

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is the second Sunday of May. President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation in 1914 that started the holiday. He asked Americans to give a public expression of reverence to mothers on this day. Carnations have come to represent Mother's Day, following President William McKinley's habit of always wearing a white carnation, his mother's favorite flower.

Flag Day

Flag Day, celebrated June 14, has been a presidentially proclaimed observance since 1916. Although Flag Day is not a federal holiday, Americans are encouraged to display the flag outside their homes and businesses on this day to honor the history and heritage the American flag represents.

Father's Day

Father's Day celebrates fathers every third Sunday of June. Father's Day began in 1909 in Spokane, Washington, when a daughter requested a special day to honor her father, a Civil War veteran who raised his children after his wife died. The first presidential proclamation honoring fathers was issued in 1966 by President Lyndon Johnson.

Patriot Day

September 11, 2001, was a defining moment in American history. On that day, terrorists hijacked four commercial airliners to strike targets in the United States. Nearly 3,000 people died as a consequence of the attacks. Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance is observed on September 11 in honor of the victims of these attacks.

Halloween

Halloween is celebrated on October 31. On Halloween, American children dress up in funny or scary costumes and go "trick or treating" by knocking on doors in their neighborhood. The neighbors are expected to respond by giving them small gifts of candy or money.

Pearl Harbor Day

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is December 7. In 1994, Congress designated this national observance to honor the more than 2,400 military service personnel who died on this date in 1941, during the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, by Japanese forces. The attack on Pearl Harbor caused the United States to enter World War II.

Ethnic and Religious Holidays

Various ethnic and religious groups in America celebrate days with special meaning to them even though these are not national holidays. For example, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter, Jews observe their high holy days in September, Muslims celebrate Ramadan, and African Americans celebrate Kwanzaa. There are many other religious and ethnic celebrations in the United States.

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Myfreetaxes Publication 501 - Introductory Material Table of Contents What's New Reminders IntroductionOrdering forms and publications. Myfreetaxes Tax questions. Myfreetaxes Useful Items - You may want to see: What's New Who must file. Myfreetaxes   In some cases, the amount of income you can receive before you must file a tax return has increased. Myfreetaxes Table 1 shows the filing requirements for most taxpayers. Myfreetaxes Exemption amount. Myfreetaxes  The amount you can deduct for each exemption has increased. Myfreetaxes It was $3,800 for 2012. Myfreetaxes It is $3,900 for 2013. Myfreetaxes Exemption phaseout. Myfreetaxes  You lose at least part of the benefit of your exemptions if your adjusted gross income is above a certain amount. Myfreetaxes For 2013, the phaseout begins at $150,000 for married individuals filing separate returns; $250,000 for single individuals; $275,000 for heads of household; and $300,000 for married individuals filing joint returns or qualifying widow(er)s. Myfreetaxes See Phaseout of Exemptions , later. Myfreetaxes Standard deduction increased. Myfreetaxes   The standard deduction for some taxpayers who do not itemize their deductions on Schedule A of Form 1040 is higher for 2013 than it was for 2012. Myfreetaxes The amount depends on your filing status. Myfreetaxes You can use the 2013 Standard Deduction Tables near the end of this publication to figure your standard deduction. Myfreetaxes Same-sex marriages. Myfreetaxes . Myfreetaxes  If you have a same-sex spouse whom you legally married in a state (or foreign country) that recognizes same-sex marriage, you and your spouse generally must use the married filing jointly or married filing separately filing status on your 2013 return, even if you and your spouse now live in a state (or foreign country) that does not recognize same-sex marriage. Myfreetaxes See Same-sex marriage under Marital Status, later. Myfreetaxes If you meet certain requirements, you may be able to file amended returns to change your filing status for some earlier years. Myfreetaxes For details on filing amended returns, see Joint Return After Separate Returns . Myfreetaxes Reminders Future developments. Myfreetaxes  Information about any future developments affecting Publication 501 (such as legislation enacted after we release it) will be posted at www. Myfreetaxes irs. Myfreetaxes gov/pub501. Myfreetaxes Taxpayer identification number for aliens. Myfreetaxes   If you are a nonresident or resident alien and you do not have and are not eligible to get a social security number (SSN), you must apply for an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). Myfreetaxes Your spouse also may need an ITIN if he or she does not have and is not eligible to get an SSN. Myfreetaxes See Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. Myfreetaxes Also, see Social Security Numbers for Dependents , later. Myfreetaxes Photographs of missing children. Myfreetaxes   The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Myfreetaxes Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. Myfreetaxes You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child. Myfreetaxes Introduction This publication discusses some tax rules that affect every person who may have to file a federal income tax return. Myfreetaxes It answers some basic questions: who must file; who should file; what filing status to use; how many exemptions to claim; and the amount of the standard deduction. Myfreetaxes Who Must File explains who must file an income tax return. Myfreetaxes If you have little or no gross income, reading this section will help you decide if you have to file a return. Myfreetaxes Who Should File helps you decide if you should file a return, even if you are not required to do so. Myfreetaxes Filing Status helps you determine which filing status to use. Myfreetaxes Filing status is important in determining whether you must file a return and whether you may claim certain deductions and credits. Myfreetaxes It also helps determine your standard deduction and tax rate. Myfreetaxes Exemptions, which reduce your taxable income, are discussed in Exemptions . Myfreetaxes Exemptions for Dependents explains the difference between a qualifying child and a qualifying relative. Myfreetaxes Other topics include the social security number requirement for dependents, the rules for multiple support agreements, and the rules for divorced or separated parents. Myfreetaxes Phaseout of Exemptions explains how to determine whether you must reduce the dollar amount of exemptions you claim and, if so, the amount of the reduction. Myfreetaxes Standard Deduction gives the rules and dollar amounts for the standard deduction — a benefit for taxpayers who do not itemize their deductions. Myfreetaxes This section also discusses the standard deduction for taxpayers who are blind or age 65 or older, as well as special rules that limit the standard deduction available to dependents. Myfreetaxes In addition, this section helps you decide whether you would be better off taking the standard deduction or itemizing your deductions. Myfreetaxes How To Get Tax Help explains how to get tax help from the IRS. Myfreetaxes This publication is for U. Myfreetaxes S. Myfreetaxes citizens and resident aliens only. Myfreetaxes If you are a resident alien for the entire year, you must follow the same tax rules that apply to U. Myfreetaxes S. Myfreetaxes citizens. Myfreetaxes The rules to determine if you are a resident or nonresident alien are discussed in chapter 1 of Publication 519, U. Myfreetaxes S. Myfreetaxes Tax Guide for Aliens. Myfreetaxes Nonresident aliens. Myfreetaxes    If you were a nonresident alien at any time during the year, the rules and tax forms that apply to you may be different from those that apply to U. Myfreetaxes S. Myfreetaxes citizens. Myfreetaxes See Publication 519. Myfreetaxes Comments and suggestions. Myfreetaxes    We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions. Myfreetaxes   You can write to us at the following address: Internal Revenue Service Tax Forms and Publications Division 1111 Constitution Ave. Myfreetaxes NW, IR-6526 Washington, DC 20224   We respond to many letters by telephone. Myfreetaxes Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence. Myfreetaxes   You can send your comments from www. Myfreetaxes irs. Myfreetaxes gov/formspubs. Myfreetaxes Click on “More Information” and then on “Comment on Tax Forms and Publications. Myfreetaxes ”   Although we cannot respond individually to each comment received, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products. Myfreetaxes Ordering forms and publications. Myfreetaxes    Visit www. Myfreetaxes irs. Myfreetaxes gov/formspubs to download forms and publications, call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676), or write to the address below and receive a response within 10 days after your request is received. Myfreetaxes Internal Revenue Service 1201 N. Myfreetaxes Mitsubishi Motorway Bloomington, IL 61705-6613 Tax questions. Myfreetaxes    If you have a tax question, check the information available on IRS. Myfreetaxes gov or call 1-800-829-1040. Myfreetaxes We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses. Myfreetaxes Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 559 Survivors, Executors, and Administrators 929 Tax Rules for Children and Dependents Form (and Instructions) 1040X Amended U. Myfreetaxes S. Myfreetaxes Individual Income Tax Return 2848 Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative 8332 Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent 8814 Parents' Election To Report Child's Interest and Dividends Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications