Tax Penalties are 40 Percent Higher Than in 2011

The Wall Street Journal reports today that the number of people who are underpaying their estimated quarterly taxes and incurring IRS penalties is skyrocketing:

Apparently it’s something of a mystery why this is happening. The number of filers has gone up only slightly. The total penalty amount has stayed about the same. The laws haven’t changed. So what’s going on?

Beats me. But I do recall looking at this once for a friend who was worried about penalties, and concluding that it hardly made any difference. The penalty amount was pretty small, and not a lot different from the interest you’d earn from underpaying and then paying the penalty. Unless you’re really rich, in which case you have accountants doing this anyway, it didn’t really matter that much.

So…maybe people have just gotten lazy because they’ve realized that tax penalties aren’t that big a deal?

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate