This applies to previously flagged accounts, audited filings etc.
How would an illegal immigrant without a valid SSN file a tax return?
EDIT: Disregard...from the parent's link article: Many of these people use Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, or ITINs.
Could you source this statement? I haven't seen anything besides speculation about this subject.
I met an older couple a while ago who refused to file taxes to protest the war. Wasn't illegal mind you. They simply made sure that they didn't earn more than cut-off ($9k I believe). They just travelled around in an RV, played folk songs, and made their living off the kindness of strangers and random odd jobs.
Here's how the math works: https://sniggle.net/TPL/index5.php?entry=howto
I no longer winter in Palm Beach, but I also no longer have blood on my hands.
To each their own.
Also, for me the sacrifice would not be low consumption living but rather riding around in an RV singing folk songs. Sounds like torture. As you say, to each their own. I actually really enjoy what I do for a living.
Note: this only applies to the personal income tax, not the payroll or self employment taxes.
A possibility I haven't seen raised yet in this thread is that more people are below the threshold to file, although 5% seems strikingly high.
I filed using the Free Fillable Forms. They got rejected with an XML validation error. OK, I'm a programmer, I can (and did) figure it out from that. But most people aren't. Imagine that your grandmother is filing her taxes, and gets an XML validation error. What is an XML validation error going to mean to her?
Now, they've got a handy Web tool that you can paste the error message in, and it will tell you what's wrong. But why should you have to? When they email you that your submission failed, why don't they run the error message through that tool, and mail you the results?
They have an incentive to make the service as terrible as possible while still technically being usable.
I believe we'll be stuck with this mess so long as the IRS partners with the Free File Alliance.
First, let's ignore that the government already has that information and having to enter it again is dumb to begin with.
But aside from that, you'd think it could catch something like that immediately when filling out the form, instead of having to wait several hours for the IRS to process and reject it.
Keep in mind a lot of our "debt" is future obligations, which makes comparing to present day revenue kind of useless.
Congress essentially mandated savings for future expense.
I honestly didn't realize that!
The current gross national debt is just shy of $20T. So, that's about 6x the annual government revenue.
In theory, national debt is "good debt" like a home mortgage, and having a home mortgage worth about 6x your salary seems pretty healthy.
I understand the position that govt taking debt out if the funds can increase economic growth->more tax revenue. However, this concept seems to break down when debt is carried over year to year and used to pay interest expense on other debts.
Presumably, the return you can generate from borrowed money diminishes as you borrow more money, so "good debt" is some amount of money that you have borrowed that allows you to be more productive and pays for its own interest, in a sense. But borrowing even more than that would start to become less useful, and drag down your overall return.
A lot of people wait till the final deadline since e-filing is so easy. Or at least that's how I tend to do it.
What an awful system. I probably wound up a day late with the postage because of that, but those assholes are lucky I filed at all. I was about ready to just throw my 1040 in the trash chute and give up my rebate as a lost cause. My time is worth more than this antiquated horseshit, and if I've learned anything from my grandpop it's that audits don't mean shit if you just keep ignoring them.
So, there's your procrastinator's attitude in a nutshell I guess.
And their protective measures demonstrably did not work, anyways. Requiring a tenuous chain of several checks to all succeed is ridiculous; I have plenty of ways to verify my identity, FFS.
This is why the new measures exist.
That's how I feel whenever I am forced to interact with the IRS. Once, I went to one of their fully automated systems only to find that the entire website was only open between the hours of 9AM-5PM on weekdays! What?
I'm getting real tired of this shit. It's just unreasonable to expect me to jump through all of these hoops for something that they insist is so essential. If it's essential, then make it easy! If it's not easy, then don't make me do it!
Life is hard enough without the government ordering me to do busywork, and then failing to support the systems which they want me to use. Either it shouldn't be an order, or the system should work. Full stop. And I wouldn't be so upset if this horseshit bureaucracy and presumption of malfeasance wasn't starting to permeate every single aspect of modern life.
Tax evasion and fraud affects us all, whether you want to admit it or not.
Unless you efile after the post office closes on the night of the 18th and/or don't own a printer and/or can't get there after efile fails but before the post office closes.
Or there are people like me, where my efile was rejected on April 19th. Now what do I do? If I try to efile again, it just says, "sorry, you're past the deadline". If I mail in a form it will technically be late, although I guess if they say anything I can show them my failed efile attempt...
Also, being late isn't that bad. You'll likely get a notice in the mail detailing out any late charges. Which for being 1 day late will be extremely minor relative to your income.
And yeah, I know being late isn't terrible, and in fact if you are owed a refund there is no penalty at all. But it's still annoying that it was late because critical government run infrastructure was broken.
The main line was slow on the 18th and people had very little wait time. The 19th was much the same. There were an excess of operators who were waiting for calls on the non-specialty line.
Go read Publication 17 for guidance for next year.
If you just keep ignoring it, eventually you will die and your estate won't be released to your heirs until the tax man gives it a final audit, and your estate will have to pay penalties and interest back to when you failed to pay.
If you're poor and/or broke, then sure, ignore an audit, because they can't get blood from a stone. :)
If you're self-employed and not reporting income...well, that's another story. But this is terrible advice that you should definitely ignore, anyways.
Like I said, my grandfather owns a business and hasn't filed in decades. It caused my Uncle some serious consternation when he took the reigns, but he never faced any consequences in the form of being held in contempt, asset seizure, etc. Just some nastygrams every now and again.
But again, this is awful advice; I was mostly being facetious. You should not just outright ignore your taxes, you should at least make a desultory effort to get SOMETHING in. But damned if I'm going to bother pulling together any more forms than are in arms/web's reach, or mail in anything more than the bare minimum.
Avoid the catastrophe.
I'll start taking the system seriously when people with more means than myself do.
Don't forget to vote every year.
The irony of it all is our taxes are complicated because we want them to be complicated. To quote a famous The Atlantic article,
"The irony is that the tax code is complicated because we want it to be complicated. Home owners want to be rewarded for their home ownership. Parents want to get money for their kids. Everybody wants a subsidy for health care. Poor people appreciate the extra cash. Break by break, tax breaks are popular. Hugely popular. Come-and-take-this-from-my-cold-dead-hands popular. But in the aggregate, they make people furious about the tax code. They push up rates, distribute money to the rich, and make it look like people aren't paying their fair share. That's democracy for you."
So an industry that would essentially be wiped out, and an entire academic field invalidated (or left with few options for work, one of them being the IRS themselves), so they organize and lobby politicians to ensure their industry's survival?
Color me shocked.
Unfortunately, my return clocks in around 30 pages and has multiple attached schedules and worksheets, which means I can't just do it the day of.
Though I'm also kinda weird, in that I actually rather like the process.
Not everyone overpays taxes in advance, so filing early provides no benefit other than moving a required task to the "done" pile sooner.
I was exactly even this year, guess my withholding was correct.
Returns will probably be higher this year once you account for that last weekend + Monday.