UNITED STATES—Well, that time has come America: tax deadline is near! Yes, for many people it causes plenty of gloom and doom. Well for most who suspect that April 15 is the deadline, surprise, you get three extra days this year to take care of your filing. Your taxes are due by Monday, April 18. Many might be asking the reason why, well, the government is celebrating the Emancipation Proclamation document that was signed by Abraham Lincoln nearly 250 years ago.
Anyways, why do so many Americans wait till the last minute to file their taxes? Well for a generous portion of Americans we know we owe the US government and because of that we delay as much as possible before taking care of the actual filing. Is it intentional I don’t believe so; it more so has to deal with the fact that you have to pay the government?
I mean for those who receive W-2 forms each year; they have an estimation of what has already been taken out in taxes to be paid to Uncle Sam or the IRS. For those, who are self-employed knowing precisely what will have to be paid out in taxes is no fun decision at all. The idea of estimating what will have to be paid out, compared to having a concrete number is no fun task at all. The last minute jitters create havoc because one begins to rush to get things done, getting all financial documents in place, making sure that all possible tax credits, deductions and income are reported to prevent the notion of being audited.
I mean who wants that to have that happen, the government inquiring about your financial assets and you have to ensure you have every single receipt and all documents needed to prove your case. I never wait till the last minute to do my taxes, but I’m not one who is the first to get them filed either. I think it has to deal with the notion of knowing if you are getting or expecting a refund, you want to get ahold of your money as soon as possible, and if you owe the IRS you want to delay payment as long as possible.
Even if that involves filing an extension to delay having to submit such a hefty payment; an extension is not as simple as filling out some paperwork though; you’re forced to pay a fee to delay payment, so in addition to paying what you owe, there is even more money you have to pay because you’re unable to pay the full amount owed to the government.
I just feel Americans should be given more than 4 months after the New Year kicks off to file their taxes. Why can’t we extend the deadline to let’s say June? You can file any time after January, but you have till June 15 before the deadline to actually file. Not only is not everyone rushing to see their accountant at the last moment, but for those who have to come out of their pocket, they have an additional two months to gather the monies needed to pay off any debt that may be owed to the government.
We have an extra three days this year; Americans should do all they can to ensure they have their taxes properly completed. Ensure your preparer isn’t screwing you over, but at the same time ensure that any monies owed to you from the government you received and any money you owe the government you do all in your power to pay off that debt so it doesn’t haunt you later down the line.
Rumor has it that you should be happier to break-even than to receive a refund, I’m starting to think that is wise. You keep more of your money during the year and don’t have to deal with the pain of forking out any money in the long run.