It’s April 15 today and it’s the income tax day of the United States. on April 15, it’s an official day that the Americans have to have their tax paid, and so we call this day income tax day. now this year April 15 is on a Saturday and when it’s on a Saturday or Sunday you have to wait until the next Monday, so technically you don’t need to pay your tax in the United States until April 17 this year.
Well, as something you probably know in the United States there is a federal income tax, and then many states would also take money from you for income tax. but not all states have income tax, there are a few states that do not have income tax, California has income tax unfortunately. and the income tax percentage depends on how much money you make, in the United States the more money you make the higher percentage of tax that you have to pay, so you don’t make very much money you don’t pay any taxes. If you make I am not sure the exact number I think it’s maybe 15,000 or 20,000 dollars a year then you start to pay income tax might be lower than that. and it starts 10 percent and then 15 percent and then goes up as high as I think 28 or 30 percent. And most people pay their taxes by having the money taken out of their paycheck every week, so when they get paid the company takes income tax from you and gives it to the government. Then at the end of the year you have to fill out or complete a form or have someone else complete the form for you which says how much money you make this year and the government would determine by looking at the form you would determine how much money you have to pay the government or if you have already paid too much you get a tax refund, a “refund” is when the government give you back money because you pay too much when you paid during the year. every paycheck that was deducted, to “deduct” means to take out of and we usually use that word in talking about taking out money from your salary or your wages what you get paid every week, taking that money out for taxes.
So it’s a tradition for some people to wait until the very last day to mail their taxes, you have to have your tax envelope postmarked by April 15, to “postmark” means that the post office put it’s stamp on it and says this is the day that you put this in the mail. So you have to have a postmark by April 15 and many people wait until the last minute meaning they wait until the very last day. Sometimes they wait until 10 o’clock at night and they go to a post office that still open, many post offices will still open longer on April 15 to give people the opportunities to mail their returns, “returns” is what we call the forms that you send to the government, they call your tax returns and almost everyone has to find a “No1040”which is the number of the form that most people have to fill out. Of course the taxes in the United States are very complicated, the rules and the laws are very very complicated, many people don’t do their own taxes, they give it to an accountant, a person who deals with tax in money and have the accountant prepare your taxes and that’s the word we would use to prepare your taxes or prepare your tax return. So these are for a federal tax, you have to pay a tax for the federal government but you also have to fill out a separate form for the state tax, so there are two returns that you have to fill out. Now what happen is if you live in one state then you move into another state in the middle of the year. well, you have to fill out two state returns and a federal return.
One of the most famous American Benjamin Franklin once said “in this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes”, nothing is certain that means nothing is sure except you are going to die, that is for sure and that you have to pay your taxes. So you cannot avoid paying your taxes though some people try. Benjamin Franklin is of course a very famous American who is one of the leaders during the Revolutionary War, he was never president but he was a very important writer and politician, he is sort of known in the United States as kind of white old uncle and that is the image people have with Benjamin Franklin. He is also famous for his many proverbs or saying that he has, this is one of them “ in this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes”.