A Taxing Time

Happy tax day! OK, I’m kidding. April 15 is the traditional day your income taxes are due, although this year that date has been extended to Monday, April 18.

It was Benjamin Franklin who said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Although we all try to avoid both of those, in the end, as Franklin said, we can’t. (Sorry, I don’t want to sound like a Debbie Downer!)

I’ve been thinking about taxes this week, which led me to find some interesting info:

  • The week of April 15 is the busiest single week for tax filings, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Nearly 13 percent of taxpayers put off filing until the last week possible, more than double the 5 percent average through the month of March.
  • Three percent of filers get around to it in the weeks after the April filing deadline and another 9 percent file for extensions and finish up in October and November each year.
  • The average refund issued to date is $3,053, which is $5 more than last year.
  • In 2014, federal, state and local governments collected a combined total of $4.7 trillion in taxes, or an average of $38,317 for every household in the U.S.

How do people file their taxes? According to GoBankingRates.com:

  • 34.5% use tax-prep software or an online program
  • 28.5% use an accountant
  • 10.9% get a friend or family member to do it
  • 8.5% file by hand, using the IRS forms and entering in everything themselves
  • 8.3% go to a tax-preparation service company
  • 9.2% don’t file taxes. (Some of these people have earned less than $10,300 in 2015 and aren’t required to file a return. In addition, there are 7 million people who are required to file a return but fail to do so each year.)

So with that, I wish you many happy “returns”!

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