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Tax Due. The income tax is due and payable ordinarily on the 15th day of June following the filing of the return of annual net income, but may be paid without penalty within ten days after demand for payment has been made by the local collector. Since demand for payment cannot be made before the due date, the tax may be paid without penalty within ten days thereafter, and this period of grace is extended if the collector fails to make a prompt demand. In the case of corporations reporting for their fiscal year the tax is due and payable one hundred and five days after the date on which the return is required to be filed, that is, within one hundred and sixty-five days after the close of the fiscal year, with a like period of grace of ten days after demand for the tax has been made. The tax may be paid in advance in instalments if the taxpayer chooses to do so, and in such cases the Secretary of the Treasury may allow a discount at a rate not exceeding 3% per annum.35
Abatement and Refund. The collection of the income tax cannot be restrained by injunction, but if taxes have been erroneously or illegally assessed or collected, the Commissioner of Internal Revenue is authorized to remit and pay back the amount to the taxpayer. The importance of collecting revenue is so great that the law permits no taxpayer to interpose a hindrance to the orderly assessment of the tax. He must allow the assessment to be made and may thereafter claim abatement or refund by filing a claim with the local collector. 36
35 For a further discussion of this subject see Chapter 36 on assessment and payment of the tax.
36 See Chapter 39 for procedure as to abatement and refund.
THE INDIVIDUAL TAX RATES
As indicated in the foregoing chapter the income tax is at present assessed and collected under two laws. The amount of tax to which each individual is liable is computed separately under each law and the two amounts are added together to determine his total liability. Each law prescribes a fixed rate, known as the normal tax, and a series of graduated rates, known as the additional tax, supertax or surtax. In the case of corporations no supertax is imposed, the rate being uniform on all amounts of net income.
Normal Tax. Under the 1916 Law a normal tax of 2% is imposed upon the entire net income received during the taxable year from all sources by every individual a citizen or resident of the United States, and upon the entire net income received during the taxable year from all sources within the United States by every individual, a non-resident alien, including interest on bonds, notes and other interest-bearing obligations of residents, corporate or otherwise. Under the 1917 Law a normal tax of 2% is imposed upon the net income of every individual, a citizen or resident of the United States, received in the calendar year 1917 and every calendar year thereafter. A citizen of the United States, wherever he may reside, is subject to both normal taxes. An alien is subject to both normal taxes if he resides in this country, but only to the 2% normal tax under the 1916 Law if he resides outside this country. In assessing the normal tax under the 1916 Law, the personal exemption allowed under that law is first deducted from the net income, and similarly in assessing the normal tax under the 1917 Law the personal exemption allowed under that law is first deducted. On all the net income in excess of the exemptions the normal rate applies. The tax on an unmarried person would be increased by 2% on $2,000, or $40, since the personal exemption is $1,000 less under each law. In case a married person or the head of a family is entitled to further exemption because of dependent children, the normal tax will be reduced at the rate of $8° for each such child, that is, 2% on $200 under each law.
Supertax. In addition to the normal tax a supertax, called in the law “the additional tax” is imposed at various rates under the 1916 Law and the 1917 Law. For the purpose of assessing the supertax the personal exemptions are not deducted. The rates are as follows:
On the amount by which the total net income
5,000 7,500 10,000 12,500 15,000 20,000 40,000 60,000 80,000 100,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 300,000 500,000
But does not
7,500 10,000 12,500 15,000 20,000 40,000 60,000 80,000 100,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 300,000 500,000 750,000
1916 Law. None None None None None 1% 2% 3% 4% 5% 6% 7% 8% 9% 10%
1917 Law. 1% 2% 3% 4% 5% 7% 10% 14% 18% 22% 25% 30% 34% 37% 40%
On the amount by which the total net income
1917 Exceeds Exceed
Law. 750,000 1,000,000 10%
45% 1,000,000 1,500,000
50% 1,500,000 2,000,000 12%
50% Over 2,000,000
13% 50% COMPUTING THE TAX-ILLUSTRATION. The tax on a married person with a net income of $50,000 for the year is computed as follows: Normal Tax. $50,000 minus $4,000 (per- 1916 Law. 1917 Law.
sonal exemption) equals $46,000 at....
$920 $50,000 minus $2,000 (per
sonal exemption) equals 48,000, at...
2% $960 Supertax On first $ 5,000
0 On next 2,500
0 1% 25 On next 2,500
0 2% 50 ($ 7,500 to $10,000) On next 2,500
0 3% 75 ($10,000 to $12,500) On next 2,500
0 4% 100 On next 5,000
0 5% 250 On next 20,000 1% 200 7% 1,400 ($ 20,000 to $40,000)
On next 10,000 2% 200 10% 1,000 ($40,000 to $50,000)
($5,000 to $7,500)
($12,500 to $15,000)
($15,000 to $20,000)
Husband and Wife. Where a husband and wife make returns of their joint incomes the supertax is not computed on the joint income of both, but on the separate income of each, although the incomes of both may be reported on the same return.1
Supertax on Stockholders in Respect of Undistributed Profits of Corporations. The supertax is ordinarily assessed only upon the income actually received by the taxpayer but where an individual forms or fraudulently avails himself of a corporation for the purpose of preventing the imposition of the supertax through the medium of permitting the gains and profits of such corporation to accumulate, instead of being divided or distributed, the law provides that for the purpose of the supertax the taxable income of such individual shall include the share to which he would be entitled of the gains and profits of such corporation if they were divided or distributed. This provision applies only where the accumulation is permitted for the purpose of fraudulently avoiding the supertax. Ordinarily, the stockholder of a corporation has no need to concern himself with this provision or to make any inquiry as to the undistributed income of the corporation. If a cor
1 T. D. 2090; T. D. 2137. 2 T. D. 2135.