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Tax Day - USA

Today is the day for the people in the U.S.A. Yes, that dread day when our dear Uncle Sam insists that we have our tax forms in the mail and postmarked before midnight.

It is not just citizens that are affected. Certain resident aliens, and nonresident aliens are also affected. So don’t think that you’re in the clear and don’t have a responsibility to our dear Uncle just because you are not a citizen.

The Federal income tax was introduced with the Revenue Act of 1861 to help fund the Civil War. You would think the thing would be paid off by now, but that’s politics, I guess. That Act stipulated that income tax “shall be due and payable on or before the thirtieth day of June”. I’m sure a lot of people wish that were still true. But really, wouldn’t you procrastinate just the same? There is an unsubstantiated claim that the first income tax was paid only by the very wealthy. Um … Ok. Sounds good to me. I’ll just skip filing this year. Is that Ok? 🙂

In 1913  the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified. This Amendment gave the United States Congress the legal authority to tax all incomes without regard to the apportionment requirement. Personally, I want a recount on that rat. Sounds kind of mousy to me. But that’s the way it is … er, was … um, still is.

The filing deadline for individuals was March 1 in 1913 and was changed to March 15 in 1918 and again to April 15 in 1955. Today, the filing deadline for U.S. federal income tax returns for individuals remains April 15 or, in the event that the 15th falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, the first succeeding day that is not a Saturday, Sunday or holiday. I’d still like to go back and declare the Civil War paid in full and forget this income tax thing.

Nowadays it’s not quite so bad. <cough> According to the IRS, in 2010, most taxpayers and tax preparers will use IRS e-file to file their federal tax returns or get extensions of time to file. I imagine the day will come when no one will bother to fill out paper returns. I also imagine a lot of other things, like the Civil War being paid off. Uh, yeah. Right.

Whatever happens and however you accomplish it, be sure to get your taxes filed on time or request an extension according to the law. And remember, all this started because of the need to fund a war. How can that be called civil?


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