In addition to being the tax-filing deadline, April 15 has become the day for political posturing.
This year, faux tea parties were de riguer, with participants twisting the original "no taxation without representation" battle cry into a more simple "no taxation, period" cry. To be fair, tea bag demonstrators also had other complaints, such as government spending, federal bailouts and the budget deficit.
But taxes were the main theme. And the tax attack on Wednesday also came from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
At a White House event touting the tax savings included in the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, President Obama took the opportuntity to call for changes to our "monstrous" tax code:
"Finally, we need to simplify a monstrous tax code that is far too complicated for most Americans to understand, but just complicated enough for the insiders who know how to game the system. … It's going to take time to undo the damage of years of carve-outs and loopholes. But I want every American to know that we will rewrite the tax code so that it puts your interests over any special interests. And we'll make it easier, quicker and less expensive for you to file a return, so that April 15th is not a date that is approached with dread every year."
If you don't see the video above, click here.
Transcript of Obama's remarks available here.
To help overhaul the tax code, the White House has already created a task force to review the tax system and recommend changes by the end of this year.
I appreciate Obama's enthusiasm and commitment to the change theme upon which he based his campaign, but I suspect he won't find trimming the tax code an easy job. Congress just can't seem to leave tax laws alone, which is why the statutes now cover more than 70,000 pages in CCH's Standard Federal Tax Reporter.
Obama, Biden 1040s: As Tax Day approached, the personal finance Web site WalletPop conducted a poll and one of the questions was which famous person's tax return would you most like to see? Most poll respondents said the Prez's forms.
Well, folks, you're in luck.
President Obama released his 2008 tax return on April 15, reporting a household income of $2.7 million, drawn mostly from sales from his two autobiographies.
Vice President Joe Biden also released his return on Tax Day. The Veep's taxable income last year was primarily from his $200,000 salary as a U.S. Senator.
You can check out both returns at Tax Analysts' Tax History Project.
What's your Tax Pulse? In addition the famous person return question, WalletPop's Tax Pulse quiz produced some interesting results to such questions as:
Which celebrity would you most trust to do your taxes?
I can'tbelieve who won!
Which pop culture personality do you not want anywhere near your 1040? I totally agree with the majority on this one.
Which design-friendly company would you like to make over all those confusing tax forms?
Once again, my vote on that last one above diverged from the majority. I picked Ben & Jerry's, but I must admit I did so because I hoped that the duo would append to each form a coupon for a free pint of their ice cream!