Hopefully you all have successfully put another April 15th behind you.
Did you get your taxes in the mail by midnight last night?
I wonder if everyone who reads this blog understands why I asked that question.
Well, our younger followers may not realize that back in the day (when life was simpler and paper was king) before TurboTax online and the eponymous E-file option, the vast majority of hard working United Staters would wait until the very last minute to finish their tax returns and get them postmarked before the dawning of April 16th.
Yes, post offices even stayed open to midnight on April 15th with uniformed employees meeting weary eyed filers at the curb to collect tax return envelopes shuffling baskets of returns back and forth to and from the big blue mailboxes.
It was such a festival like atmosphere that savvy retailers even lined the post office lots handing out everything from office supplies to hot coffee to last second tax advice.
It was a national event that was celebrated in print, on the news and even in big screen movies.
It was an experience that needed to be experienced at least once in your lifetime.
But those days are gone forever.
Due to the massive decline in mailing returns and just as massive federal budget cuts, post offices no longer stay open late on tax day.
They don't need to any more but we will always miss this yearly event.
As a blog from "The New York Times" City News Room laments:
"Way back when, it was one of the city's hottest nightspots."
"There were lines out the door and frenzy within. Amid the excitement, deals were made and hearts were broken."
"We speak, of course, of the mad scene at the city's main post office on Eighth Avenue as the clock ticked toward midnight on Tax Day."
"The magic is gone."
What difference would it make if they were postmarked at 12:03 on April 16th?
Would we have to wear a scarlet letter on our chest until next year's tax day?
Would we lose our citizenship for a year?
Would we be sent to debtor's jail?
Back in the day nobody asked....we just made sure we were filed by midnight on April 15th.
We imagined there were consequences so dark and life threatening that nothing could stop us from making the midnight deadline if even by mere seconds.
- This penalty also applies if you owe taxes, filed an extension, but didn't file your return by October 15.
- The late filing penalty is 5% of the additional taxes owed amount for every month (or fraction thereof) your return is late, up to a maximum of 25%.
Hey, that can actually be a pretty hefty fine even if you are a couple of days late.
I guess our government doesn't fool around....at least not when it comes to taking our money from us.
I mean do you really think they are going to review your return the instant it is filed?
It may take days, weeks even months before someone opens that envelope to see how much you cheated.
But I guess that doesn't matter.
If our government wants your money and it's not there on time then you will feel the pain.
One thing I didn't know....the late filing penalty is 10 times higher than the late payment penalty.
So, if you can't pay your tax bill on time and you didn't file an extension then at least file your return as soon as possible.
Remember you can always cheat more / amend it later !!!
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The more Baby Boomers we can help the better place we make this world !!!
Thanks for joining me..........................................................