Tax Day 2021 has arrived

Tax Day 2021 has arrived, and you’ll have to be sending in those returns with payments or seeking an extension at the end the day.

It’s later than normal this year, with the traditional filing date of April 15 being moved to today as a result of concerns brought on by the coronavirus. You are required to either file your return or ask for an extension by this evening’s deadline or face a penalty, and you won’t be alone — more than 150 million returns are expected to be filed this tax season, with 90 percent of those filed electronically.

While no one likes to have to pay taxes, there is at least the knowledge that we’ve already passed Tax Freedom Day.

Tax Freedom Day is calculated by the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank based in Washington that was founded in 1937 to research and inform citizens and the government about tax policies. It is the date upon which all of the nation’s taxes would be paid for the full year (if all the wages earned were going solely into taxes first.) The calculation is made by dividing all the local, state and federal taxes by the nation’s income.

While information for 2021 was not available, it’s likely the dates did not vary much from 2019. For Ohio residents, that day fell on April 14. The day came a little bit earlier in West Virginia — April 10 — and a little bit later in Pennsylvania — April 16.

According to the Tax Foundation, Tax Freedom Day for the nation in 2019 came 105 days into the year, on April 16. If federal borrowing is included, the day would have fallen on May 8.

Looking back at the past several years, Tax Freedom Day fell on April 19 in 2018 and on April 23 in 2017 and on April 24 in 2016 and 2015.

In higher-income, higher-taxed states, wage-earners work for the government longer. Tax Freedom Day in 2019 came in Connecticut on April 25, in New Jersey on April 30 and in New York and Washington, D.C., on May 3. Meanwhile, the lowest average tax burden falls to Alaska, which set its wage-earners free on March 25.

Taxes as a take balanced against income were at their longest period in 2000, when Tax Freedom Day occurred May 1.

But in 1900, more than a decade before the federal government established an income tax, Tax Freedom Day occurred Jan. 22.

According to WalletHub, Americans use 8 billion hours a year preparing tax returns, with $230 being the average amount expected to be spent completing and filing Form 1040 this year.

That number has not increased since 2011. And if you think the process is too complicated to do on your own, consider that 58 percent of taxpayers prepared and e-filed their own returns last year.

It’s all something to ponder as you make those final plans to file your return today. And if it makes you sleep any easier, know that if you were able to pay every single one of your taxes for 2021 in one lump sum and you live in our Tri-State Area, you would have been working for yourselves for the past month or so.


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