Federal income taxes were first introduced in the U.S. in the early 1860’s to help fund the Civil War—and over time found their way into our Constitution, and an important cornerstone of our economy. April 15 is National Tax Day in 2019 and the deadline for personal income taxes to be filed with the federal government.
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How to Observe Tax Day
1. Break out the 'income tax' cocktail
This is a real cocktail—basically a Bronx cocktail (gin, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, and orange juice) with a splash of bitters, as a nod to the bittersweet nature of the day.
2. Host a tax potluck party
Friends don't let friends do taxes alone. Why not make a party of it instead. Make it a potluck, to save money for everyone. And as you work through all the sheets, you can give awards for the most creative deductions or person with the biggest return coming their way.
3. Make It rain with money confetti
Go to the local party store and get play money bills. Shred these bills and go wild 'making it rain.' As silly as it sounds, this little activity will leave you feeling rich!
Why Tax Day is Important
A. It's an unexpected financial check-up
W-2's or 1099's. Banking statements and donation receipts. There's a lot of paperwork you need to pull together to be able to do your taxes (even if you have help). But once it's all together, it's kind of interesting to see how much you made in the last year and where the money went.
B. Deductions, baby
You start to see the different ways you can get money back—like mortgage loan interest, tax-deductible donations and even unreimbursed job-related education. Once you get a hang of a "strategy," you can start to plan out your next year for even more savings.
C. Show us the money
In recent years, over 8 out of 10 Americans have got refunds for overpaying their income tax. This means that most of us are getting a nice-sized check coming back to us, compliments of Uncle Sam.