In 1966 The Beatles were raking in so much cash from seemingly everywhere on the planet they found themselves in a 95 percent tax bracket, leading George Harrison to pen “Taxman” with the famous opening line, “Let me tell you how it will be/There’s one for you 19 for me.”
Thankfully, Lassen County residents won’t face anything near that kind of staggering tax bill, but the day of reckoning — Monday, April 15 — is right around the corner just the same.
Here are some deadlines you should know.
Monday, April 15 is the deadline to submit your federal tax return.
If you seek an extension, the deadline is Tuesday, Oct. 15. Of course, you may seek an extension to file your taxes, but to avoid penalties and interest; you must pay your taxes by April 15.
Believe it or not, federal income taxes first came about in the 1860s to fund the Civil War (The Revenue Act of 1861), and that tax was repealed in 1872. In the old days, the federal government obtained most of its revenue from tariffs and excise taxes, but some believed those taxes were unfair because of their effect on the poor, and some argued for a progressive tax to shift the burden to the wealthier citizens of the country.
In 1909 Congress proposed the 16th Amendment to the Constitution. It read: “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”
After 36 state legislatures ratified it (eventually 42), Congress passed the Revenue Act of 1913, allowing taxes on both corporate and individual incomes. The justices on the Supreme Court have struggled with the correct interpretation of the 16th Amendment ever since its passage.
Expecting a refund? If you mail your tax return to the Internal Revenue Service near the filing deadline, it will take about eight weeks to receive your refund.
Refunds come more quickly if you e-file your taxes.
Taxpayers can check on the status of their refund by calling (800) 829-4477 or (800) 829-1954.
Taxpayers also can find more information on line by going to irs.gov.
California state income tax
Of course, as California residents, taxpayers in Lassen County may have to file a state return as well.
Many of the changes made to the federal tax code do not apply to residents’ state taxes.
The limits for Earned Income Credit in California have been adjusted, and the income tax rates have also been adjusted for inflation.
The state has also added three new voluntary contribution funds — the Organ and Tissue Donor Registry Voluntary Tax Contribution Fun, the National Alliance on Mental Illness California Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund and the Schools Not Prisons Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund.
Like it or not, Monday, April 15 is Tax Day — a day you don’t want to ignore and a day you certainly don’t want to forget.