Tax Penalties are 40 Percent Higher Than in 2011

The Wall Street Journal reports today that the number of people who are underpaying their estimated quarterly taxes and incurring IRS penalties is skyrocketing:

Apparently it’s something of a mystery why this is happening. The number of filers has gone up only slightly. The total penalty amount has stayed about the same. The laws haven’t changed. So what’s going on?

Beats me. But I do recall looking at this once for a friend who was worried about penalties, and concluding that it hardly made any difference. The penalty amount was pretty small, and not a lot different from the interest you’d earn from underpaying and then paying the penalty. Unless you’re really rich, in which case you have accountants doing this anyway, it didn’t really matter that much.

So…maybe people have just gotten lazy because they’ve realized that tax penalties aren’t that big a deal?

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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