Just a reminder that TAX DAY 2017 is just around the corner and, interestingly, it falls on Tuesday, April 18th this year. (When April 15 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, tax returns are due the following Tuesday!) So, if you haven’t already begun to assemble and organize 2016 receipts, documents, W-2’s, 1099’s, etc., you do have a window of time left to file your income tax returns.
We can thank the Revenue Act of 1861 for the beginning of assessment of income taxes in the
United States. This Act was intended to help fund the extraordinary cost of the Civil War and was repealed, re-adopted, & eventually held unconstitutional.
In 1895 the U.S. Supreme Court found (Pollock v Farmer’s Loan & Trust Co.) that the Gorman Tariff Act of 1894 which taxed incomes of $4000 at the rate of 2%, violated the Constitution’s rule that direct taxes be apportioned among the states. The court ruled that the Act’s unapportioned income taxes on interest, dividend & rents were effectively direct taxes.
Nevertheless, the Government can be quite persistent in matters of collecting money and, in 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution gave the U.S. Congress legal authority to tax all incomes without regard to the apportionment requirement.
So, there you have it … in the 104 years since, Congress has dedicated a considerable amount of time to figuring out how to make the Internal Revenue Service Code as complicated as possible, and CPA’s and ordinary citizens have been trying to figure out ways to use the Code to pay as little tax as possible.
*Tax prepartion assistance is available to the elderly and the disabled through outlets such as the IRS and AARP. (For more information, go to https://www.irs.gov/individuals/free-tax-return-preparation-for-you-by-volunteers)
Cindy & Kandy