Some Last-Minute Tax Advice!

It’s less than a week away from tax day—it’s on Monday, April 18th this year—but a considerable percentage of taxpayers have yet to sit down and file. If you’re one of the many dreading the looming deadline, you’re in luck! We have a certified tax preparer on hand to walk you through the rough patches.

Michelle Kuchinsky, a volunteer tax preparer with Community Tax Aid and business development organizer for Knowledge Commons DC, has picked out some important tips to get you through the filing process. But first, some history!

Globally, there is a history of “tithing” that long predates the modern income tax. The United States instituted its first income tax in 1861 as a way to pay for the Civil War. In 1894, Democrats in Congress imposed the first peacetime income tax in the country in order to offset reductions in tariffs. This first tax was only a 2% tax on income that exceeded $4,000 ($109,000.77 in 2014 dollars)—and fewer than 10% of households had to pay it.

Over time, that 2% tax on income grew. At its height, all income above $200,000 was taxed at 94%! That was in 1944, applied to income over about $2.6 million in 2012-adjusted dollars. Today, all income above $415,050 is taxed at 39.6%, while income below that is taxed at lower rates. 

And now some filing tips from Michelle:

Hope this helps! Have fun filing!

Michelle Kuchinsky is a volunteer tax preparer with Community Tax Aid and a community outreach organizer for Knowledge Commons DC. During the day, you might find her conducting research on meat processing plants for the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. Other interests include cheese, clothing swaps, Shabbat dinners, and Settlers of Catan.