; When should you file an American tax return
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When should you file an American tax return

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									The first known income tax that Americans were legally required to pay
was enacted during the 1860s, and the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln. The
Civil War was proving very costly to fund, and the President and Congress
created the Commissioner of Revenue and enacted a law requiring citizens
to pay income tax.

Originally, the deadline for completing and filing your individual income
tax was not April 15th. In the beginning, it was first set for March
1st. Then, during 1918, Congress pushed the date out to March 15th.
Then, in the great overhaul of 1954, the date was once again moved
forward to April 15th, and this is where it remains today. But, it has
only been set this way for a little over 50 years. That’s not very long,
in historical terms, and it could possibly be changed again.

If you are an individual tax payer, you are required to file either a
return or an extension of time to file (Form 4868) by April 15th.
Corporate and other legal entities are required to file their tax return
by March 15th, and if not, they also must file an extension of time to
file. What this extension does not do, is to extend the amount of time
you have to pay any taxes due the government. So, if you are unable to
ready your personal or business financial information in a timely manner,
and have no reasonable estimate as to the amount of tax you may owe, you
can expect to pay some form of penalty.

In the years following WWII, the burden of tax responsibility was shared
fairly equally by the corporate world and the individual tax payer.
Today, however, the shift has been toward more responsibility on the part
of the individual, and less on the business backs. To demonstrate how
special interests have begun to overtake American politics, during 1867,
public opinion was so strong, and the outcry of the general public so
loud, that the President and Congress repealed the income tax law, and
from 1868 until 1913 almost all of the revenue for government operation
came from the sale of liquor, beer, wine, and tobacco.

An interesting time during the formation and eventual taxation of America
occurred during 1918. Until that point in time, the vast majority of
revenue for government funding came from alcoholic beverage sales. In
1919, Congress passed an amendment to the Constitution that made it
illegal to manufacture or sell alcohol; what would replace the revenue?
American income tax was the proposed solution, and we’ve been paying
since. Although during the great years known as Prohibition, many
“revenue agents” spent their days tracking down “moon shiners” not tax
evaders, the American citizen, the individual taxpayer took on the heavy
burden of supporting government revenue, and it has become heavier with
each passing year.

Then, during 1942, the Revenue Act of 1942 was passed and the “New Deal”
era was begun. Since that point in time, government control, power, and
expenditures has continued to increase at a phenomenal rate, and today
the American taxpayer supports a trillion dollar giant known as the
United States government. This ravenous beast consumes more than 10% of
our earned income each year, and if the Social Security Administration
has their way, will continue to consumer even more of our weekly
earnings. We can foresee no other relief in sight.

Currently, all the tax regulations for this country are the
responsibility of the Internal Revenue Service, and there are four major
divisions of this government office: the Wage and Investment,
Small/Business Self-Employed, the Large and Midsize Business and the Tax
Exempt and Government Entities. Each division has responsibilities as
they pertain to their individual specialty.

								
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