April 15th. For some people, the date means little. For others — particularly those who have not yet filed their income taxes — the mere mention of the day fills them with anxiety.
Most of us file a tax return every year because we have to. But there are a significant number of adults who don't need to file on a given year for various reasons; usually because they didn't make much money. This includes many college students and people who only work part-time.
Many Americans prefer to e-file their taxes each year. It tends to be faster and easier than working with paper, and it usually results in a faster refund. Filing with software like TurboTax or H&R Block does cost money, but the convenience usually outweighs the cost.
When the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare") was fully rolled out, people knew that it would likely make filing tax returns more complicated. What they weren't counting on was complications due to widespread errors. Yet it was recently reported that about 800,000 Americans who obtained insurance coverage through the federal exchange were sent incorrect statements about their coverage from 2014.
In October of 2014, we wrote about a controversial practice that the Internal Revenue Service and certain other government agencies have been employing for years. A process called civil asset forfeiture allows the IRS to confiscate the entire balance of bank accounts and seize other assets of businesses engaging in "suspicious" transaction activity. The transactions that raise red flags are sometimes as simple as making numerous cash deposits of less than $10,000.
"The dog ate my homework" is the old excuse for failing to turn in projects and papers during grade school. As we get older, our excuses tend to get more sophisticated.
Now that 2015 has arrived, it’s time for all Americans to start thinking about their federal tax returns. The Internal Revenue Service expects to begin accepting returns later this month. When it does, some experts are predicting that this could be the most “miserable” tax season since the mid 1980s.
An old business adage that’s still popular today tells us that “it takes money to make money.” This most often refers to the costs businesses incur in overhead, advertising and other expenses before they can bring in revenue. But does the adage apply to the U.S. government as well?
Now that we’re well into the final quarter of the calendar year, the new tax season is just around the corner. Of course, there are plenty of special occasions to celebrate between now and January, so you probably won’t have taxes on your mind just yet.
Most Americans are resigned to pay what they owe to the Internal Revenue Service, and they do so without complaint. This is because most of us understand that tax revenue keeps the country running.