Tax takeaways

April is a big month for taxes, since the deadline to file is Tuesday, April 17, and two days later will be Tax Freedom Day, when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay its tax bill for the year. Tax Freedom Day takes all federal, state and local taxes and divides them by the nations income. This year, Tax Freedom Day falls on April 19, 109 days into 2018.

Tax freedom day

In 2018, Americans will pay $3.39 trillion in federal taxes and $1.8 trillion in state and local taxes, for a total tax bill of $5.19 trillion, or 30 percent of the national income.

Taxes by state

The total tax burden across states varies considerably due to differing tax policies. This means that states with higher incomes and higher taxes celebrate Tax Freedom Day later.

Federal filing statistics

Revenue and deficits

Federal gross tax collections in trillions
The federal government raised a record $3.27 trillion in fiscal year 2017 and will take in an estimated $3.34 trillion in fiscal year 2018.

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Federal gross tax collections in trillions:

Federal debt rising
In 2017, the IRS had revenue of $3.3 trillion and spent $4 trillion. In 2018, the Congressional Budget Office projects that if tax laws remain unchanged, the federal budget deficit would grow substantially. By 2028 the debt held by the public could be 100 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product.

Protect yourself

There are many scams regarding taxes and the IRS. In 2015, the IRS launched the Taxes. Security. Together. awareness campaign. Here are a few tips from the agency:

No one from the IRS will call you. The IRS will not call a taxpayer threatening a lawsuit or arrest or to demand immediate payment. Beware of threatening phone calls from someone claiming to be from the IRS. Criminals often try to impersonate banks, credit card companies and the IRS in hopes of stealing personal data. Learn to recognize and avoid those fake communications.

Watch out for phony email. The “IRS Refunds” scam is a common tactic used by cybercriminals to trick people into opening a link or attachment associated with the email that takes people to a fake page where thieves try to steal personally identifiable information.

Protect personal and financial records. Do not carry your Social Security card in your wallet or purse. Only provide your Social Security number if its necessary. Protect personal information at home and protect personal computers with anti-spam and anti-virus software. Routinely change passwords for online accounts.

Report tax-related ID theft. If you cannot e-file your return because someone already filed using your Social Security number, you should still file a tax return by paper and pay any taxes owed. There are several other steps and reports to file with the IRS and state. You can learn much more about protecting your identity and the IRS website.


Working but still struggling? Heres a tax credit that might help you

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