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Tax and Financial News for April 2005

Survival Kit for April 15

Once again, the dreaded April 15 due date is facing us. For the average taxpayer, that means it's finally time to take the shoe box and head to the tax preparer. It's hard to imagine why he or she has waited so long. After all, the vast majority of filers receive a refund from Uncle Sam. For the rest of the taxpayers who owe Uncle Sam, it's also the time to take the shoe box to the tax preparer and hope that there's enough in the checking or savings account to cover the amount due.

For those of us who are tax preparers...well, there’s plenty of time for sleep after April 15. Until then, however, it is our job to search every nook and cranny of the Internal Revenue Code to make sure our clients pay only their rightful share of taxes, and not a penny more. And despite the fact that we may complain about the long hours, the fact is we truly enjoy helping our clients survive filing their income tax return and that's what this article is all about.

In years past, we tried to give you last minute tax tips. We aren't going to do that this year to any great extent. We figure you're smart enough to look in the archive for tax savings tips. No, this article will give you a few links to important web sites and hopefully give you a few chuckles. Perhaps it will ease your filing burden a little and, after three months of this tax return stuff, we can sure use a little relief.

Business

First things first; let's talk about deadlines. You already know that Friday, April 15 is the last day to mail in your tax return. You may even know that you have until April 15 to make a contribution to your IRA. But did you know that you can file for an automatic extension of time to file your tax return? Did you also know that just because you get longer to file your return, you still have to pay all of the tax you owe by April 15. An anonymous source once said, "Taxes: Of life's two certainties, the only one for which you can get an automatic extension." Remember, that's an automatic extension to file, not pay.

Remember the good old days when the United States Postal Service was the only "official" way to put your return in the mail on April 15 and have it count as timely filed? Well, today, we have a few other authorized carriers. For a list of the private delivery services that you can use go to the IRS website. The only drawback to sending your return using a private delivery service (other than cost) is private delivery services must have a street address for delivery. We searched the IRS website for a link that listed the street addresses of the service centers, but had no luck. Below is a listing of the addresses:

  • Andover: 310 Lowell St., Andover, MA 01812; (978) 474-5421
  • Atlanta: 4800 Buford Highway, Chamblee, GA 30341; (770) 936-4500
  • Austin: 3651 S. Interregional Highway, Austin, TX 78741: (512) 460-8300
  • Brookhaven: 1040 Waverly Ave., Holtsville, N.Y. 11742; (631) 654-6686
  • Cincinnati: 201 W. River Center Blvd., Covington, KY 41011; (859) 292-5316
  • Fresno: 5045 East Butler Avenue, Fresno, CA 93888; (559) 443-7590
  • Kansas City: 2306 East Bannister Road, Kansas City, MO 64131; (816) 926-2493
  • Memphis: 5333 Getwell Road, Memphis, TN 38118; (901) 395-1900
  • Ogden: 1160 West 1200 South Street, Ogden, Utah 84201; (801) 620-7168
  • Philadelphia: 11601 Roosevelt Blvd., Philadelphia, Pa. 19255; (215) 516-2499

Don't forget you also have the option of filing your extension and return online. For more information, take a look at the IRS efile site.

Stress Reduction

We thought you might enjoy hearing what your taxpaying brothers and sisters think about income taxes. We hope you enjoy this little diversion to the normally serious business of taxes.

"The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has. Even when you make a tax form out on the level, you don't know when it's through if you are a crook or a martyr." - Will Rogers

"This (preparing my tax return) is too difficult for a mathematician. It takes a philosopher." - Albert Einstein

"The Taxpayer. That's someone who works for the federal government, but doesn't have to take a civil service examination." - Ronald Reagan, U.S. President

"The income tax created more criminals than any other single act of government." - Barry Goldwater, United States Senator

"The Dime: a dollar with all the taxes taken out." - Anon

"Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt." - Herbert Hoover, U.S. President

"It is the duty of a good shepherd to shear his sheep, not to skin them." - Tiberius Caesar

"Death and taxes may be certain, but we don't have to die every year." - Anon

"Only the little people pay taxes." - Leona Helmsley, hotel owner

"I am proud of paying taxes. The only thing is - I could be just as proud for half the money." - Arthur Godfrey

"The ancient Egyptians built elaborate fortresses and tunnels and even posted guards at tombs to stop grave robbers. In today's America, we call that estate planning." - Bill Archer

"People who complain about taxes can be divided into two classes: men and women."  - Unknown

"A tax loophole is "something that benefits the other guy. If it benefits you, it is tax reform."  - Russell B. Long, U.S. Senator

"Compare this (40% to 75% total local, State and Federal tax rate) to the plight of medieval serfs. They only had to give the lord of the manor a third of their output and they were considered slaves. So what does that make us?" - Daniel J. Mitchell, Economist


Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed your brief respite from the serious, but now we must close on a serious note. The annual tax filing deadline is fast approaching and all of us who have put off filing our returns and paying the taxes due are headed for our day of reckoning. If you haven’t yet filed and need help, give us a call. We have the expertise to help you in your compliance matters and, afterward, we can talk tax planning. After all, Justice William H. Rehnquist did say, "[T]here is nothing wrong with a strategy to avoid the payment of taxes. The Internal Revenue Code doesn't prevent that." Who are we to disagree with a United States Supreme Court Chief Justice?

Have a low stress April!

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