Income Tax Fast Facts

Here’s some background information about the annual income tax filing deadline in the United States. April 15, 2015 is the deadline to file 2014 income tax returns.

Filing Statistics:
The IRS’s fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30.

2014 (for 2013)
Individual Income Tax Returns
Total Receipts: 147,444,789

Individual E-filing Receipts
TOTAL: 124,585,594
Tax Professionals: 77,275,927
Self-prepared: 47,309,667

Total Individual Refunds
Amount: $330.561 billion
Average Refund: $2,719

2013 (for 2012)
Individual Income Tax Returns
Total Receipts: 145,996,474

Individual E-filing Receipts
TOTAL: 120,983,966
Tax Professionals: 76,972,240
Self-prepared: 44,011,726

Total Individual Refunds
Amount: $312.775 Billion
Average Refund: $2,872

Where Do The Taxes Go?
National Defense 18%
Social Security 24%
Health & Medical 24%
Safety Net Programs 11%
Interest on Debt 7%
Veterans & Other 18%

1862 – During the Civil War, the IRS is born when President Abraham Lincoln and Congress create the Commissioner of Internal Revenue and enact an income tax to pay war expenses. The first income tax levied 3% on incomes between $600 and $10,000 and 5% on anything over $10,000. This income tax lasts until 1872.

1895 – The Supreme Court rules in Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan and Trust Co. that taxing incomes uniformly throughout the United States is unconstitutional.

1913 – The 16th Amendment is ratified by the states, giving Congress the authority to enact an income tax. Congress also introduces the first 1040 form and levies a 1% tax on personal incomes over $3,000 with 6% surtax on incomes of more than $500,000.

1918 – During World War I, to help finance the war, the highest rate of taxation on income is 77%. After the war, by 1929, the rate drops to 24%.

1954 – The tax filing deadline is moved from March 15 to April 15, to give taxpayers more time to prepare their returns.

January 3,1996 – Congress enacts the Taxpayer Bill of Rights to ensure relief from overzealous collection efforts on the part of IRS personnel.

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