Home The unavoidable: Tax Day fast approaches for Americans; are you ready?
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The unavoidable: Tax Day fast approaches for Americans; are you ready?

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Taxes for 2022 are due Tuesday, April 18, 2023.

The traditional date of April 15 is on a Saturday this year, and April 17 is a holiday: DC Emancipation Day. The holiday is officially April 16, but with it being on a Sunday this year, DC will celebrate Monday the anniversary of when slavery ended in the nation’s capital in 1862.

But there is no emancipation for Americans from paying taxes in the 21st century.

WalletHub released its report on the States with the Highest & Lowest Tax Rates. The report seeks to help Americans understand tax time.

According to WalletHub, as Tax Day approaches, 81 percent of Americans are more worried about inflation than taxes this year. Seventy-three percent said the government does not spend their tax dollars wisely. Not having enough money to pay their taxes is the biggest fear for 34 percent of Americans, while 23 percent are afraid of making a math mistake and 22 percent are worried about getting audited.

Forty-nine percent of Americans would prefer to do jury duty than do their taxes, 36 percent would prefer to talk to their kids about sex and 26 percent would rather miss a connecting flight.

Seventy-two percent think the current tax rate is too high.

Alaska has the lowest tax rate, followed by Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Wyoming. The highest tax rates are paid by residents in Illinois, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania and Kansas. Virginia is no. 23 of lowest tax rates.

WalletHub Analyst Jill Gonzalez offers her opinion on why most people think their current tax rate is too high.

“Around 72 percent of Americans think that their current tax rate is too high, according to a recent WalletHub survey. One major reason for this could be that during this time of high inflation, people’s wallets are already stretched thin, so taxes hit even harder than usual. In fact, 81 percent of people are more worried about inflation than taxes in general. Perhaps people feel that a tax break is necessary to lessen the pressures of inflation,” Gonzalez said. “Another reason why people think their current tax rate is too high could be that they feel the benefits they receive from the government do not equal the money subtracted from their income. They may also disagree with how their tax dollars are being used or think they are being used inefficiently.”

Gonzalez said that Americans have many reasons why they believe the government does not spend their taxes wisely, the biggest is a disconnect between the amount of taxes residents pay and the benefits they receive, a lack of trust in politicians now and the perception that the private sector is more efficient at investing.

“When Americans hear about billions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse, they are even more reluctant to part with their hard-earned money. When that’s the message that’s always in the news, it’s easy for people conclude that the government isn’t spending their tax money wisely,” Gonzalez said.

According to Gonzalez, Americans should be most concerned about having enough money to pay what they owe, because coming up with additional funds on short notice is difficult for many during a time of high inflation.

“Taxpayers can avoid making math errors by completing their tax return early reviewing it thoroughly for mistakes before submitting it. They can also take advantage of free tax-prep resources that can help make sure that the math checks out,” Gonzalez said.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.