Are you ready for Tax Day?

  • A man in a Statue of liberty costume attracts passersby to a tax preparation office.
  • A man stamps “PAID” on a 1957 U.S. individual 1040 tax return.
  • Crowds rush to make the tax deadline outside of the the Internal Revenue Tax bureau at 45th Street and Lexington Avenue in New York City on March of 1944. The original deadline was March 1, which was then changed to March 15 in 1918, and then finally to April 15 in 1955.
  • A man works at a desk at the offices of Liberty Tax in Webster, N.Y. in 2012.
  • A tax collector’s office in Texas in 1963.
  • Actor James Dean sits down with his tax accountant in New York City in 1955.
  • Participants in a tax-strike rally burn federal 1040 forms as a symbol of protest at the National Tax Strike Information Center, in Denver in April of 1974.
  • Last-minute income tax filiers fill the offices of the Internal Revenue Service in Denver, Colo., in 1959.
  • Tax filers wait to submit their tax returns in Denver in 1952.
  •  U.S. Postal Service customers wait in line at the James A. Farley Post Office in April of 2012 in New York City. 
  • Last minute tax payers crowd the State Building in New York to avoid late penalties in 1944.
  • U.S. Postal Service workers wait for last minute tax filers to drive by and hand off their returns in Washington D.C in 1955.
  • Jodi Harkness sorts tax returns at the Internal Revenue Service Center in Ogden, Utah, on April 21, 1998. 

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Benjamin Franklin once wrote that nothing is “certain, except death and taxes.” Well, he might have forgotten one thing in that phrase — procrastination. For those multitudes subject to that bad habit, April 15, the infamous last day for Americans to file their tax returns, is here. That means late night number crunching, last minute scurrying to the post office, and long lines. Last year, more than 67 million Americans filed their returns, with a major uptick of nearly 6% of tax payers filing their returns electronically by themselves, according to IRS figures. It is estimated that one in four returns are filed in the last two weeks before the tax deadline, not including the 10 million Americans who also request an extension.

Take a look at the annual sprint that is Tax Day, which — if current trends continue — may look a lot different in the future.

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