The IRS taxes the incomes of those individuals whose earnings meet or exceed the specified minimum requirement. Normally, taxes are automatically withheld from an employee’s check by an employer. However, each year in April citizens must still file an individual income tax return. Depending on the total amount of earnings for the year and filing status, there will be either an underpayment or overpayment of taxes. An underpayment requires individuals to send in an additional payment when they file or make an approved payment arrangement with the IRS. An overpayment of taxes results in a refund check from the IRS to an individual. A failure to pay an amount of taxes owed results in penalties, fines or even imprisonment.
The IRS taxes corporations and other business entities as well. Just like individuals, businesses are responsible for accurately reporting their income to the Internal Revenue Service so that the correct amount of taxes can be levied. Because there are some differences in the way corporate income is reported as compared to individual income, many rely on the help of a professional tax preparer to put their financial information in order. This is to make sure the IRS taxes the right and accurate amount of income; otherwise, a business can find itself looking at an audit of all its financial records.
When the IRS taxes an individual or business, a number of systems and codes are applied based on everything from income and expenses to age and number of dependents. There are codes for singles and married couples, as well as codes for couples filing separately or as Head of Household. While these tax codes are often confusing, they nonetheless help determine the share of taxes that may be due. Deductions and tax credits are routinely offered to those with children, ongoing medical expenses or those businesses bearing the depreciation costs of equipment or advertising. All these help to lessen the tax burden on both companies and individuals.
There are other areas in which the IRS taxes individuals other than income. Federal taxes can come in the form of estate taxes, gasoline taxes or even in federal universal telephone service fees. While many do not like the idea of taxes, they are still a necessary part of life. These collected revenues help to fund the various programs and services that keep a country up and running. The arguments against taxes and how they are used have been waged since early history. Programs that help those with low incomes or disabilities receive medical care is just one of the many examples of this; interstate highways and schools are another.