“I paid my income tax today!” So went one of Irving Berlin’s lesser-known patriotic jingles. “I never felt so proud before/To be right there with the millions more/Who paid their income tax today!” Few share Berlin’s enthusiasm, as grumbling about the income tax reaches a crescendo on April 15. Let’s topple some tall tales about taxes before writing checks to — or getting checks from — the dreaded Internal Revenue Service.
1. The income tax is a big-government Democratic scheme.
The first income tax in the United States was enacted under the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln. Before the Civil War, Republicans were the party of big government, supporting high tariffs, infrastructure spending and centralized bank regulations.
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If you find you owe tax after completing your federal tax return but can’t pay it all when you file, the IRS wants you to know your options.
Here are four tips that can help you lower the amount of interest and penalties when you don’t pay the full amount on time.
1. File on time and pay as much as you can.
Filing on time ensures that you will avoid the late filing penalty. Paying as much as you can reduces the late payment penalty and interest charges. For electronic payment options, see IRS.gov. If you pay by check, make it payable to the United States Treasury and include it with your return.