Taxpayers are well aware of the need of keeping accurate accounting records for the annual year-end ritual of filing a tax return. Many sites now offer this service free of charge for simple returns, in an effort to help taxpayers file properly, and in a timely manner. Accounting for income and deductible expenses no longer needs to be a burdensome task.
In addition to the sites offering the taxpayer their filing services, there are now many affordable software applications, even copiers/scanners that can sort and track expenses efficiently, and with little effort on the part of the customer, simplifying the task and taking the mystery of how it should be done. Individuals can accurately track their expenses in user-friendly programs. Many of these programs will upload to financial planning sites, simplifying the job even further.
Consider how many levels of tax people pay: federal, state, county, and city tax in some cases. Some people will argue that it takes too much time to track the necessary information for all these levels, when in fact, tracking it one time is all that is necessary. With a few simple responses during the interview process, the sophisticated tax preparation programs on the market will copy the information to the associated returns, making the job easy. The Internal Revenue Service and other tax entities provide online programs with no filing fees to qualified individuals.
The question still remains: Is it legally required to pay income tax and file tax returns? This question has been argued since 1913 by many anti-taxation groups, such as Freeman, Save a Patriot Society, We the People, and Pilot Connection. According to the IRS, “…When the 16th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified (February 3, 1913) giving Congress the power “to lay and collect taxes on incomes” citizens began arguing that it was not properly ratified and income taxes are illegal.” (IRS, n.d.) The IRS claims these groups entice people into following their doctrines and beliefs, basically for tax evasion.
The Internal Revenue Service is very adamant about individuals filing their taxes, promising to …”vigorously pursue prosecution and prison sentences for individuals who violate the tax laws.” (IRS, n.d.) Individuals are charged with the responsibility of knowing the tax laws and filing appropriate returns. Until this age-old argument is settled, taxpayers are strongly advised to keep accurate accounting records of income and expenses and to seek assistance from tax professionals or local tax authorities in the preparation of their returns.