In an effort to help fund the Civil War the Revenue Act of 1861 was passed, and the Federal Income Tax was introduced.
In 1955, Tax Day was moved to April 15th.
That deadline to pay your State and Federal taxes looms now for all Americans.
If your taxes aren’t done yet, you still have options.
“It’s much easier to get your taxes done right in the first place than it is to correct them later,” said Anne Powelson, H&R Block, Master Tax Advisor.
“People tend to procrastinate” said UMaine Associate Professor of Accounting Stephen Colburn”, “And put things off, like I said they’re afraid, afraid of making a mistake.”
Most people who are anticipating a refund file their taxes in February, those who wait until April are normally expecting to write a check to the government.
“Now’s when people have to file,” said Powelson. “So they are coming in and they are anxious and we want to give everyone as much time as we need to give them to make sure that we’re getting every benefit that they deserve in their taxes, that they have every write off that they’re eligible for.”
If you don’t have a chance to get the taxes completed you still have to pay the bill by 11:59pm on the 15th, so you can estimate the amount you owe and send that to the IRS.
“If they filed a tax return in prior years, like last year, they can use that as an estimate as a guide to go by, if their income is roughly the same as last year,” said Colburn. “If there is a big increase in income then it makes it a little more complicated.”
If you haven’t filed your taxes, or even made an appointment to do so, you can avoid any penalties, but Powelson said you still have to act fast. “It’s not really the end, we recommend doing an extension, the extension is the extension to the time to file, not to the time to pay, so they want to make their best estimate on it and do their taxes correctly if they can’t get in to do them right away, that’s what we’d recommend to people.”
If you are looking for free online help, and made less than 58 thousand dollars a year, you can visit the website www.myfreetaxes.com to file your federal and Maine state taxes electronically.