Income Tax Fast Facts

Here's some background information about the annual income tax filing deadline in the United States. April 15, 2014 is the deadline to file 2013 income tax returns.

Filing Statistics:
The IRS's fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30.

2013 (for 2012)
Individual Income Tax Returns
Total Receipts: 145,996,474

Individual E-filing Receipts
TOTAL: 120,983,966
Tax Professionals: 76,972,240
Self-prepared: 44,011,726

Total Individual Refunds
Amount: $312.775 Billion
Average Refund: $2,872

2012 (for 2011)
Individual Income Tax Returns
Total Receipts: 146,243,886

Individual E-filing Receipts
TOTAL: 118,401,243
Tax Professionals: 75,139,489
Self-prepared: 43,261,754

Total Individual Refunds
Amount: $322.667 Billion
Average Refund: $2,674

Where Do The Taxes Go?
National Defense 19%
Social Security 24%
Health & Medical 22%
Safety Net Programs 12%
Interest on Debt 6%
Veterans & Other20%

1862 -
During the Civil War, the IRS is born when President Abraham Lincoln and Congress create the Commissioner of Internal Revenue and enact an income tax to pay war expenses. The first income tax levied 3% on incomes between $600 and $10,000 and 5% on anything over $10,000. This income tax lasts until 1872.

1895 - The Supreme Court rules in Pollock v. Farmers' Loan and Trust Co. that taxing incomes uniformly throughout the U.S. is unconstitutional.

1913 - The 16th Amendment is ratified by the states, giving Congress the authority to enact an income tax. Congress also introduces the first 1040 form and levies a 1% tax on personal incomes over $3,000 with 6% surtax on incomes of more than $500,000.

1918 - During World War I, to help finance the war, the highest rate of taxation on income is 77%. After the war, by 1929, the rate drops to 24%.

1954 - The tax filing deadline is moved from March 15 to April 15, to give taxpayers more time to prepare their returns.

January 3,1996 - Congress enacts the Taxpayer Bill of Rights to ensure relief from overzealous collection efforts on the part of IRS personnel.