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.