What do you think people do on tax day? Relax, enjoy the holiday, file their tax returns, grab the freebies, deals and look out for saving money. Most important thing you do is to inform the IRS of all income that you received in the previous fiscal year. But there are few groups, particularly veterans, pensioners and some low-income families, who do not have to file a tax return unless they wish to qualify for certain types of income subsidy. Also few may wait until the last moment to file their tax return and pay any money they owe.
For some people filing a tax return is complicated, while few may even feel that they should not have to pay income tax. In the United States, income tax returns may be filed on paper or electronically. People are encouraged to file a return online as this is more efficient saving time and energy, no worry that your documents will be lost in the postal transactions or any such thing.
You also must be thinking as how and why such a thing ever came into existence that one needs to show income to the government. Do not be surprised to know that it was long before in 1861 that Income tax was first introduced in the United States of America
A rate of three percent was levied on incomes above $800 per year and the resulting revenue was used to help fund the American Civil War effort. However, income tax was seen as unconstitutional and the law was repealed in 1872. The idea of a tax on personal income, at a rate of two percent, was reintroduced in the Revenue Act of 1894, but the legal status of this kind of tax was still unclear. In 1913, the “Sixteenth Amendment” to the Constitution of the United States was ratified. This cleared the way for the modern income tax system in the USA.
The details of the income tax system have changed greatly since 1913. The top rates of tax have varied enormously and were particularly high during the First and Second World Wars and the Great Depression. Individuals and families with very low levels of income do not have to pay income tax and may receive some subsidy via the tax system.
How Tax Day date was fixed?
In 1913 Tax Day was fixed on March 1. But it was moved to March 15 in 1918 and April 15 in 1955, where it has remained since then.
If April 15 falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a civil holiday, such as Patriot’s Day, the deadline is extended to the next working day. An extension due to a holiday may only affect certain states. In 2007, the residents of some states were granted an extension due to the disruption to public life in many areas caused by a huge Nor’easter storm. In some years in Washington DC, Emancipation Day may be the reason to extend the deadline for filing an income tax return (Tax Day). In 2007, the observance Emancipation Day in Washington DC had the effect of nationally extending the 2006 income tax filing deadline from April 16 to April 17. This 2007 date change was not discovered until after many forms went to print.
This year the Tax day date has been pushed forward to three days than last year. Tax day will be on Monday April 18th 2016 as against April 15th 2016.
Also the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had announced the 2016 filing date long before in mid January 19, 2016 and it expects to receive more than 150 million individual returns in 2016, with more than four out of five being prepared using tax return preparation software and e-filed.
Many people simply feel that paying taxes is like they are being robbed or something. But taxes are the only way you can finance government services that you wish to have from roads and national parks to social security or any good cause the government wants to fund and aid to a service for the benefit of the society.
What documents you need to file your tax returns
Let us be quick and know what documents you need to file your tax returns
Documents or related forms received either by post or email
What you must have got by now either by post or by email are the papers you need to document the income, interest and withheld taxes to report with investment-related 1099s your W-2 or tax filing form 1040 and other email announcements
Mortgage providers, credit card companies, banks and other financial institutions often post those important 1099 forms on your online account. Best is to create a separate folder in your email to drop messages in that relating directly to tax information.
Keep note of online statements for deductions
You need to track records like your online statements for potential deductions such as:
- Charitable donations
- Outlays for health care
- Job-search expenses
- Unreimbursed work expenses.
You may do this each month and save time in the end by taking few minutes from your schedule to jot down tax-related information including:
- Expense title
- Check numbers
- Payee names
- Dollar amounts
You need to create a spreadsheet dedicated to tax records
Throughout the year, consider downloading and printing online documents that will be available for only a limited time. Make a spreadsheet for your tax records.
Make the list of deductions throughout the year
Jot down the things where you qualify for tax deductions. Like keep a record log in your car and note down the miles when you use your vehicle for volunteering, work, business or medical appointments as well as parking, bus and taxi fares and tolls can help you qualify for a deduction.
Hold on to cash receipts that document your transportation, charitable work, job-search and other tax-deductible activities. Hold on to any paperwork and documents that arrive in the mail, or receipts needed to prepare the return, even if you’re not sure. It’s always better to have too much information than not enough.
Your day to day life events need to be recorded
Documents related to life events such as marriage, death of a spouse or divorce, alimony payment records, adoption papers and child custody agreements should all be saved.
Like you have new baby born and with potential tax advantages. When you sit down to prepare your return, have these documents for dependent children close at hand:
- Social Security card
- Childcare receipts
- Contributions to college savings plans
Buying a new home/realestate record
If you have bought a new home you should keep paperwork such as:
- Closing documents
- Home improvement invoices, receipts and proof of payment
- Your annual mortgage statement
- Other expenses record in case you paid real estate taxes or points when you closed that don’t appear on your year-end mortgage interest statement.
- Home improvements such as wheelchair ramps recommended by a doctor may be deductible as medical expenses if you itemize deductions.
- Certain energy efficiency improvements also may help you reduce your tax liability.
Keep record of your filing history
So do you think that the value of a tax return is ending on April 18th? Remember you’ll need to provide this document to get a mortgage or apply for student loans.
Generally, the IRS can audit you for three years after a filing date, and in some cases even longer, so keep safe your return copies and support documents just in case. The IRS can audit you as many years back as they would like if it suspects fraud, so keeping tax returns and supporting documents for at least seven to 10 years puts you on the safer side. If you have any queries that you wish to still know about the 2016 Tax refund you can do so here
15 Tax day Freebies and deals you will love to have in 2016
Many people anticipate and look forward for the great freebies and saving deals and coupons for Tax Day. Many companies and restaurants offer special coupons, deals, discounts, freebies like free food and other utility stuff on tax day. Most likely the foodies you will most likely get in the form of freebies are small cakes, biscuits, notable discounts, buy big and get small, and even buy one get one special offers. Like KFC giving red velvet cake for free with 10 piece family meal, Hardees giving a dollar discount on burgers, McDonald’s giving discounts, Burger king and Boston Market giving Buy one Get one deals, and much more.
Here are some top tax day freebies and other money-saving deals to help you relax and enjoy whether you filed the return or scored a refund.
There are also few companies and restaurants that made their services absolutely free like a dating site giving free membership of couple of days, Free Popcorns from AMC Theatres, absolutey free small size potato cakes or curly fries by Arbys also get much attention.
1. Check out the following websites for some awesome tax day freebies, special deals and coupons
2. Look for Kona Ice Trucks
Kona Ice will have their trucks parked outside post offices, tax preparation centers, and businesses all over the country on April 18 to give you some sweet cool mood on Tax Day. Stop by the truck and you’ll get a free cup of shaved ice and a Hawaiian lei. Wanna know where the Kona Truck is find it here
3. Paper Shredding at Staples
4. Get Free Massage from Hydro Massage
Hydromassage is offering a free massage at its centers to one and all. You can contact them for more details and have your bookings. Relax after tax paying for some awesome “Free HydroMassage Experience” coupon to redeem while in your massage session.
5. MacDonalds Buy One Get One Free
Buy one Big Mac or Quarter Pounder with Cheese on April 18th and get another for just one penny. This is valid at participating McDonalds locations only. Check out at their website for more information.
6. Westin New York Grand Central’s Discount
The Westin New York Grand Central Hotel is throwing in the tax for free with a special promotion that offers a 15% reduction off flexible rates on weekends from now through December 31, 2016 when booked now through May 17, 2016. (Lodging taxes in NYC are approximately 15%.) Use the rate plan TAXBRK when booking online at www.WestinNewYorkGrandCentral.com. Starting rate is $186. Some blackout dates apply.
7. Avenue of the Arts Costa Mesa Offer
Avenue of the Arts Costa Mesa, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, in Costa Mesa CA is inviting guests to enjoy a tax-free stay to celebrate another year of filing taxes. Guests receive an 11% discount when booking a room now through April 30, 2016, for visits through April 30, 2016. Book online here to use rate plan LTPKG1. Starting rate is $199. Conveniently located in the heart of chic Orange County, the hotel recently debuted a multi-million dollar renovation in celebrated Nouveau Art Deco style.
8. Great American Cookies to relish
Great American Cookies has decided to shake things up by offering a free sugar cookie to customers who stop by participating stores on April 18th . No purchase or proof of completed taxes is necessary to claim your sugar cookie, just enjoy without any worry.
9. Maggie Moo’s Ice cream to enjoy
You can enjoy yummy ice cream at Maggie Moo’s. Have Free samples of ice cream pizza at participating locations between 3 & 7pm on 18th April 2016
10. Sing your favourite song at Hard Rock Café
Hard Rock Cafe will offer tax payers a chance to sing for their supper on April 18th , at participating locations, you can sing your favorite song at the stage and get a free Local Legendary Burger. Singers of all ages are welcome; however, those who are under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Start practising to sing now for your supper promo. Also look at their casino for some coupons and deals that might attract you.
11. IHOP have pancakes for $1
IHOP will be offering shortstack of buttermilk and pancakes for just $1 all through out the tax day between 7 am- 7 pm. Hope to find you there.
12. Bruegger’s Bagels for $10
Bruegger’s Bagels will be offering a big Bagel bundle for $10.40 from April 11th to April 18th. This offer will also include 13 Bagels and two cubes of cream cheese for members of Bruegger’s Bagel’s email club. If you wish gotta become a member now here
13. Get Two free Cinnabon Bites
14. SavingsGator offers 4 inkjets and save 10% off on ink and toner
At Savings Gator you can have 4 inkjets and save 10 % off on ink and toner plus you also get free shipping on all orders. Check here for their discounts and coupons.
15. Huber’s Restaurant Offer
At Huber’s Restaurant you can celebrate your tax day with a nice dinner. Just bring along with you the following email and show it at the counter and receive $10.40 of your food and breverage purchase of $500 or more. The offer is available all day on April 18th 2016
Tax Day Specials 2016 (McDonalds, Deals & Coupons) pic.twitter.com/oNIX3LRWwj
— Patti Zelenack (@zelenackp) March 18, 2016