ANOTHER RETRO COLUMN FROM THE ARCHIVE

As we salute ourselves in the twenty-fifth of our existence, we though we would once again dip into our archives to revise another column we had placed within these pages that perhaps you may have overlooked the first time around.

Since the tax season filing deadline has been extended this year to May 17th, we thought we would bring back an article that deals with those pesky taxes! This one was originally published back in 2013 in Vol. 18.-No. 17

THE CHECK IS IN THE E-MAIL

It appears that those that waited at the last moment to file one’s federal and state taxes are expecting to receive their refunds returned by the IRS. Now that the official tax season wrapped up on April 15th, those lucky enough to deserve a refund have already received their refunds or will be expecting to nab ‘em very shortly.

According to stats as reported by way of the IRS, some 81% of those filing a return (out of 96.6 million) are expected to receive a refund averaging $2,755. (In 2012, the average refund was $2,794). And with 89% of those returns filed electronically, the refunds will not only get there faster, but they will still do nice for those folks that would rather have the cash on hand rather than to fob them to the government.

There’s other notions to take in this episode. Some folks experience no bothers when it comes to filing taxes, as 29% reported as liking to do their taxes according to a poll taken by the Pew Research Center. 5% of those who expect a big refund stated that they love sending out those 1040 (and other) forms to the IRS. (25% who expect a small or nonexistent refund hate doing ‘’em!) But the story here is getting the share of the cash that will otherwise go toward paying federal tariffs.

During the “crunch” times where taxes were due or nearly due, many retailers, mostly on the local or regional level, were toting “tax refund” sales. Many of these outlets, usually in the form of physical stores that sell electronics (mostly big screen TV sets) or those that sell cars (a mix of new and used) have been applying in their ads that one can use that refund to use as a down payment on an auto, or to apply the same refund toward the purchase of some oversized TV machine that holds many of the bells & whistles that giant sized monitors tend to have in place.

Then again, there are the 19% of those that filed their taxes on time that will have to pay additional fees (on the worst side of the scale) or to receive nothing–the “best” scenario of the former. Those not receiving anything will not be getting their checks in the e-mail, standard mail, or any form of delivery! Since the IRS will not cut a check for the total amount of ‘zero”, one won’t expect anything to ponder upon.

On the other hand, if one has to file their tax return knowing that no money is to be owed, there will not be any penalty applied to the filer. The IRS applies a 5% penalty fee to the amount owned each month until the amount is paid in full. So if one does the math, 5% of zero equals to zero! However, one does have three years to file a “ground zero” amount. If one is lucky enough to eventually obtain a refund, the money returned may not come around for a while, if at all!. Even though it’s been a little over two weeks since those taxes were due, it’s best to send out the forms on time, but that’s not until the next tax season.

As this article is being finalized, this reporter just received word from a fellow college that he just received his refund via electronic means. The person, who we’ll call “Mr. Taxpayer” (not a very original name to use, but that’s beside the point), had just sent what appears to be an important e-mail message to yours truly announcing that his refund for filing his taxes (rather early–for the record) came to the entire sum of $38.00!

Perhaps Mr. Taxpayer is pleased to receive this amount due to the notion that he once owed a large amount of money to the IRS that came from a failed business that he was listed in the legal paperwork as a partner. To make this longer tale short, he fought with the IRS to clear his name since his partnership wasn’t what is seemed to be as listed on the legal documents.

After all of that hassle was done and cleared, his small amount is welcomed news. Now for the first time in many seasons, the IRS owed him money rather than the other way around.

So what will Mr. Taxpayer do with that amount of cash? Pay off his phone carrier for back money owned due to his cell phone usage! This usage applies to all of those broadband hungry “apps” that’s installed on his phone that he uses on a daily, and sometime hourly, basis!

In spite of this, his refund was in the e-mail as he learned that fact through his smart phone–the same phone he used to send this writer him important message!

Then again, the tax filing fun starts all over again next January 1st. So get those calculators and key strokes ready, willing, and able! The IRS will be there, ready to serve you!

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