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056 When is the last day you can send in federal income tax forms?

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56. When is the last day you can send in federal income tax forms?
Answer:
April 15

Explanation:
There is a very well-known saying in English: “The only sure things (or things that will definitely happen) in life are death and taxes.” Just like there is no way to avoid death (or to not die), there is no way to avoid paying taxes, which is money that we pay to the government so that the government can provide education, security, and other services to its people. In the United States, everyone who makes money must pay federal (or national) income taxes, which is money we pay to the government based on how much money we have made.

In the United States, taxpayers must file (or send in) their own federal income tax forms, which are pieces of paper that request information and have spaces
for us to write down that information. The tax forms request personal information like your name and address, as well as information about how much money you made in the past year. The forms always must be postmarked (or stamped by the post office) by April 15th. If the federal income tax forms are postmarked on a later date, the taxpayer will have to pay a fine, which is money that we must pay because we did something wrong.

Filing tax forms is not very difficult, but if you own your own business or have your money in a lot of other things to make money, it can be complicated. Many people fill out (or write in the answers on) their tax forms on their own. Other people have tax accountants, which are people who do taxes as their job, do it for them. Either way, it is important to keep all of our tax information organized throughout the year so that we will be ready when it is time to file taxes.

Throughout the year, the company where you work takes withholdings, which is money that you never see because the company sends it directly to the federal (or national) government. The withholdings are as much as you expect to owe (or need to pay) in taxes. Then, early in the following year, you file your tax forms. If your total tax owed is more than the withholdings, meaning you have not yet paid enough taxes, you will need to pay the difference between what you have already paid and what you owe. If the total amount of the taxes you owe is less than your withholdings, then you will get a tax refund (or money that is returned to you from the government because you have already paid too much).

Glossary

to avoid – to do something so that something else does not happen; to find a way to prevent something from happening
* They moved to Florida to avoid the cold weather in the winter months.

income tax – money that is paid to the government based on how much money one makes each year
* Last year we had to pay income taxes of 28.5% of the money we made.

to file (something) – to send in official documents; to submit documents
* Don't forget to file your application by September 28.

form – a piece of paper that requests information and has spaces where information can be written down
* To open a bank account, we only had to fill out one simple form.

postmarked – stamped by the post office on the day that something is mailed
* This letter was postmarked on March 15, but we didn't receive it until almost two weeks later.

fine – money that must be paid because one did something wrong or bad
* We had to pay a fine for returning our library books later than we were supposed to.

to fill out (something) – to write the requested information on a form (a piece of paper that requests information and has spaces where information can be written down)
* Please fill out this form with your name, email address, and telephone number.

withholdings – money that a worker never sees because the employer sends it directly to the government to pay for the worker's taxes
* Last year, we didn't have enough withholdings to cover our taxes, so we had to send the government more money.

to owe – to need to pay money to someone
* Maxine owes me $8.00 because I paid for her lunch yesterday.

tax refund – money that is returned to a person from the government because he or she has paid too much in taxes
* Bella used her tax refund check to buy a new refrigerator.