When it comes to milestones, April 15 is depressing enough. That’s the day your tax payment and tax return are due, unless you choose to prolong the agony by asking for an extension. To me, that’s like going to the dentist and requesting he take two visits instead of just one to extract your tooth. You not only double the pain, you also double the dread, which to me is a lose-lose situation.
Plus the only part you’re extending is the paperwork deadline. Uncle Sam still wants all the money by April 15; you just have permission to take longer filling out the return.
But now the Tax Foundation reports that Tax Freedom Day — the day when you have earned enough money at your job to pay your tax bill — extends past the filing deadline! This year it’s April 18, which is five days longer than last year.
As bad as that news is, just be grateful you are not paying for all the federal government you are getting. If the Chinese weren’t floating the note for the free-spending Obama administration and the U.S. had to pay for all its spending without borrowing, you would be working until May 9 — 21 days longer — to pay your average share of America’s tax bill.
Optimists among my readers may be thinking that at least once you reach April 18 you can stop worrying about the IRS and go on with your life. But even that’s a false hope.
The IRS is starting a program that will be snooping around in your Facebook and Twitter posts. The goal is to gather personal information from taxpayers by rummaging around in their casual online conversations.
Restaurant owners that claim large loses for tax purposes and then turn around and discuss their European tour of Michelin 5-star restaurants may be in for some interesting correspondence from the Treasury Department. The same goes for the man who tells the IRS he’s unemployed and then posts pictures of his new bass boat on Facebook.
Maybe I’m being too negative. There could be an unintended positive byproduct of this latest IRS initiative. Generating envy among your friends by boasting about trips and possessions could be very expensive if the IRS is watching. This may result in a sorely needed wave of humility in the online universe, which can’t be all bad.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is the founder and chairman of The Reagan Group and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Click Here Now.