(Daily360.com) – The annual tax deadline is rapidly approaching and Americans don’t seem overly concerned. One tax professional from Kentucky described the seeming cause as lack of urgency; she said people have a “no rush” attitude this year. She and other professionals looking for a cause, wonder if it may be the lack of federal stimulus checks this year. People who didn’t receive a direct payment received funds through tax filings. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) data shows a 0.8% dip in filed tax returns year-over-year. They also show refunds up 2.6% but the refund amount is down. This too is likely related to pandemic measures such as the stimulus and other relief programs having now expired.
Tax experts say it’s better to file for an extension than submit imperfect returns which could draw an audit. They also warn that if you will owe money to the government, an extension gives you added time to file but does not extend the time you have to pay. The IRS charges citizens interest on late payments so it is advisable to pay at least some of the bill on time as to offset some of the penalties. Another suspected contributor to the lateness of filers is more people are in the “gig economy” than ever before. These are freelancers, people new to self-employment who had been accustomed to having taxes automatically withdrawn from paychecks.
The Biden Administration is keen on expanding the reach and power of the IRS. Part of their “Inflation Reduction Act” is a $70 billion fund allotment to hire about 87,000 additional IRS employees. Republicans in the House have tried to counter this by creating the “Family and Small Business and Taxpayer Protection Act,” which narrowly passed along party lines. The bill is mostly seen as a political point gathering maneuver as it has virtually no chance of making it out of the Democrat controlled Senate and even less chance of being signed by Democrat President Joe Biden.
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