As portrayed in the film Apollo 13, astronaut Jack Swigert forgot to file his taxes:

JACK SWIGERT: Well uh, if anyone from the IRS is watching, I forgot to file my 1040 return and I meant to do it today but...

SY LIEBERGOT (EECOM - WHITE): That's no joke! They'll jump on him!

In real life, when did Jack Swigert realize that he forgot to file his taxes? A complete answer will include the calendar date, mission time, and the relevant dialogue (especially the funny parts).

It's worth noting that in 1970, the deadline to file taxes was April 15.

This question is part of a series honoring the 50th anniversary of Apollo 13, "NASA's finest hour".

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    $\begingroup$ I thought "space-taxes" was an appropriate tag. $\endgroup$
    – Star Man
    Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 17:21
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    $\begingroup$ I don't have a source to check for 1970, but at least as early as 1985 there was an automatic 2-month filing extension "if you are living or traveling outside the US and Puerto Rico on (tax day)". $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 13, 2020 at 3:32
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    $\begingroup$ This question is also part of a series honoring IRS deadlines .. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 13, 2020 at 10:07
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    $\begingroup$ @dave_thompson_085 Thank you, I never understood the line in the movie when this is brought up, someone reassures him by saying something like "you're decidedly out of the country". I never knew why that would make any difference for the filing requirement. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 13, 2020 at 18:14
  • $\begingroup$ @StarMan apparently a popular idea, considering "space-taxes" was also an issue in ''Deep Impact''. :) $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 15, 2020 at 22:59

1 Answer 1


Jack Swigert realized that he forgot to pay his taxes around the first hour of the second day. Here's the dialogue from the Apollo 13 transcript: Note, Jack Swigert is the CMP (Command Module Pilot), Jim Lovell is the CDR (Commander), and Joseph Peter Kerwin is the CC (CAPCOM, crew members just call him Joe).

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So I guess the answer to your question: He realized he forgot to pay his taxes at 1:00:18 which was on April 12, 1970 around 2:31 PM EST. It's not surprising given the fact that everyone pays their taxes last minute, and Jack Swigert unexpectedly came onboard Apollo 13 (he was a backup).


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