Some More Statistics of Income

The Statistics of Income Program of the IRS released some interesting information last week in Publication 4801, “Individual Income Tax Returns Line Item Estimates, 2013.” (OK, I find it interesting. I never said I wasn’t a nerd.) The analysis involved the information on 65 forms and schedules. Here are a few of the tidbits about the 2013 Form 1040 series and its related forms and schedules.

  • 147,351,299 individual returns were filed, of which 125,317,579 (85%) were filed electronically.
  • Form 8959, Additional Medicare Tax, new in 2013, was filed with 3,335,101 returns.
  • Form 8960, Net Investment Income Tax, also new in 2013, was filed with 3,166,773 returns. I suspect many of the filers of Forms 8959 and 8960 were the same.
  • Alternative Minimum Tax Form 6251 was included with 9,705,282 returns. The AMT arose from the public outrage in 1968 when it was revealed that 155 individuals with incomes exceeding $200,000 paid no tax the previous year. The net has enlarged a bit, hasn’t it?
  • 3,837,716 individual filers claimed educator expense deductions.
  • 8,543,611 individual returns reflected penalties for underpayment of estimated tax.
  • Out of 115,557,210 individual filers who overpaid, only 3,812,435 (3.3%) wanted the overpayment applied to their 2015 estimated tax. I’ll bet that reflects a lot of self-imposed forced savings through withholding.
  • 26,480,680 filers owed tax.
  • When you add the overpaid and the underpaid, you get 142,037,890 returns. Does that mean that 3.6% of 1040 filers got it just right? (Well, it probably means that on most of those returns no tax was due and no tax was paid or withheld.)
  • Last, and least of those forms statistically confidently reported, Form 8834, Qualified Electric Vehicle Credit, accompanied 610 Forms 1040 (.0004%). All these forms were filed electronically, the only 100% electronically-filed forms that I saw.

The next time you want to spend some time alone at a cocktail party, have these statistics on the tip of your tongue.

VKM

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