The reason for the Tuesday, April 17, deadline is that April 15 falls on a Sunday, and Emancipation Day, a holiday observed in the District of Columbia, falls this year on Monday, April 16. According to federal law, District of Columbia holidays impact tax deadlines in the same way federal holidays do.
The IRS will begin accepting e-file and Free File returns on January 17, 2012. Additional details about e-file and Free File will be announced later this month.
The IRS also announced a number of improvements to help make this tax season easy for taxpayers, including new navigation features and information on IRS.gov and a new pilot to allow taxpayers to use interactive video to get help with tax issues.