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?

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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