Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's Tax Day

Wednesday, April 15th. Tax Day has arrived in our nation. This is the day by which all income tax forms, both state and federal, must be at least in the mail. Just about everyone I know that is expecting a refund sent their forms in, either via mail or electronic filing, weeks or months ago. Those of us who must include a payment often wait until today to send those forms.

I was one and one this year. My federal tax would give me a refund, albeit a very small refund; but I had to pay a little money to Maine. I sent it in yesterday to beat today’s rush at the post office. I efiled my federal tax and had that money back within a week. I “snail mailed” my state form even though the state does accept electronic filing.

My accountant has told me a couple of years ago that just about everyone will be expected to file electronically within a very few years, but the push has been on for a few years now for such filing. The feds have made it more enticing my allowing free e-filing whereas it used to cost around $20. I think it still does for the state tax. That charge is a good incentive for using the postal service.

In the past Post Offices have remained open until midnight on filing day but that has changed this year, at least in Maine. Most will close at their normal time tonight.

Coincidentally, well, maybe it’s not such a coincidence, there are many groups around the country holding “tea parties” today to protest high taxes in both states and the nation. I told you about the parties last Friday; and if you missed it, you can read about it here.

The tea party idea began out of a citizen protest over the massive government bailout and so-called “recovery” spending plans. According to a report I heard yesterday there are more than two thousand such parties planned around the country. Several are right here in Maine, including two in Portland, I think two in Augusta, at least one in Bangor, and several in Aroostook County.

You can find the times and locations of most, at least, if not all the Maine tea parties listed in a Maine Tea Party blog on Blogger. You can also do a Google search on “tea parties.”

There is no party affiliations connected to the tax protest rallies, but generally they are attributed to Republican organizations.

All the tea party organizers are asking rally participants to remain non-confrontational as they want the day to be peaceful. There are reports of anti-tea party demonstrations being formed by a Democrat group funded, incidentally, by Democrat “stimulus” money. It is possible that not all parties will be peaceful, but I hope the ones here in Maine remain as planned.

Some of the parties will have symbolic tea, mostly in the form of tea bags, tossed into various waters which is why most are being held near water ways. In Portland, for example, one rally will be held on the beach off Munjoy Hill this afternoon and the other off the Maine State Pier this evening.

Nationally, the parties have already begun or will begin in earnest shortly after 8 AM. Maine’s will be held later today.

It will be interesting to see just how the mainstream press handles the protests. At least it was mentioned this morning on WCSH-TV and there is an editorial in the morning Press Herald about them.


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