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If your total taxes after adjustments and credits (line 12) are $2,500 or more for the current quarter and the prior quarter. You must make deposits according to your deposit schedule. See section 11 of Pub. 15 for information and rules about federal tax deposits. You may reduce your deposits during the quarter by the amount of the COBRA premium assistance credit that will be reflected on your Form 941-X, but only if you use the claim process and not the adjustment process to claim the COBRA premium assistance credit on your Form 941-X for the quarter.

The COBRA premium assistance credit is treated as a credit on the first day of the return period (that is, January 1, April 1, July 1, or October 1). However, because the credit is now claimed on Form 941-X filed after submission of the Form 941, an employer that reduces its required deposits in anticipation of the credit will receive a system-generated notice reflecting a balance due and associated penalties and interest, if applicable. The balance due, including any related penalties and interest, resulting from the reduction in deposits in anticipation of the credit will be abated when the credit is applied. Such abatement will generally occur without any further action from the employer. Alternatively, to prevent triggering a system-generated balance due notice, the employer can make its deposits without a reduction in anticipation of the COBRA premium assistance credit and follow the ordinary procedures for filing a claim for refund or adjusted return using Form 941-X.

THE JOKE is that we're not kidding. The above appears on the IRS' website today. Call it the Helpful Hints section. And this is just a few paragraphs from the instructions for Form 941. And there are other parts, supplemental guides, circulars for farmers, data books, notices . . . . We stopped caring after 15 minutes.

Did Monty Python write this? Put your clothes down on the lower peg immediately after lunch before you write your letter home if you're not getting your hair cut . . . .

When will this end? Even when the federal government cuts taxes, as it does in Republican administrations, the Infernal Tax Code remains as cluttered as ever. Why can't this country come up with a better idea? MAGA? How about starting with helping the citizenry understand how it's taxed? April is the saddest month, mixing not memory and desire, as the poet said, but injustice and sheer mind-numbing complexity. The injustice most of us can understand at once, and in a bitter flash. The complexity seems to get worse every year.

Once again the almost mystical Internal Revenue Code, with its acres of nooks and crannies for the specially favored, has managed to cost the government a lot of internal revenue. The IRS reports that 63 percent of all tax returns were done by professionals in recent years.

Maybe because only a pro could figure out what th' heck the IRS is talking about. Or, even better, have the software and computers (updated every tax season) so Hal can figure it out. Not that it's likely that even he could get it 100 percent right either. For the stories keep coming of people calling the IRS, asking the same question of the people who work there, and getting different answers from different people. And then we are supposed to swear--on penalty of perjury--that what we're turning in to the government is correct? How many years does perjury carry in Arkansas?

Most of us don't object to paying our taxes. Living in the United States of America is not only a privilege but a great bargain. What we object to, or should, is how hard, how complicated, how expensive and sometimes just hopeless it is to figure out how much tax we owe. Awash in a sea of paper, or maybe in an ocean of electronic impulses in this Internetted age, the American taxpayer needs . . . help!

This whole involved system collects trillions of dollars, but at the cost of billions. A vast industry of tax collectors, tax accountants, tax planners, tax lawyers and tax lobbyists has grown up to deal with all the loopholes, rules, trap doors and lawyerspeak hidden in the sprawling Internal Revenue Code. And the blamed thing keeps expanding with every "tax break."

For the average American family, filling out a tax form has become like attacking a puzzle to which, often enough, there is no right answer. This country's tax code has grown as indecipherable to the average American as Hammurabi's. It might as well be written on clay tablets.

THERE ought to be something better to do every April 15 than fling our return at Uncle Sam and complain about it. We've written this editorial before--it seems like every year--and nothing changes except the date on the check. It's time to stop complaining and do something.

Don't mend it, end it. Abolish the tax code and start all over. After all, would anybody starting from scratch come up with a system as counter-productive as the one we've got? So why not opt for a clean break with the past? This country started with a tax revolt. It's tradition! So let's do it again. Take the tax code out behind the (depreciating) barn and kill it with an ax. Then tell Congress to come up with a better plan by, oh, Dec. 31. Nothing might concentrate our betters' minds like a tax code coming to an end.

And next April 15, we can sleep better o' night.


The IRS can't accept a single check (including a cashier's check) for amounts of $100 million or more. If you are sending $100 million or more by check, you'll need to spread the payment over two or more checks with each check made out for an amount less than $100 million. This limit does not apply to other methods of payment (such as electronic payments). Please consider a method of payment other than check if the amount of the payment is over $100 million.--IRS.gov

We had no real point in mind when we decided to include the above paragraph, also taken from the government's official tax website. We just decided to reprint it here, in case it comes in handy for Gentle Reader as he gets his business in order. Good luck, all.

Editorial on 04/15/2019

Print Headline: Tax day

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Comments

  • Lifelonglearner
    April 18, 2019 at 1:05 a.m.

    A simple tax code: (1) Anything received of $100 or more value that you did not have last year is income. (2) Pay xx% to Uncle Sam.

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