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Tax Day—Need We Say More

April 9, 2013 No comments

In the United States, Tax Day is a colloquial term for the day on which individual income tax returns are due to the federal government. The term may also refer to the same day for states, even where the tax return due date is a different day. And although, to our knowledge, there has never been a survey done to prove it, we would venture to guess that Tax Day is also a top cause for drinking (which is where we come in).

Federal income tax was introduced with the Revenue Act of 1861 to help fund the Civil War, and subsequently repealed, re-adopted, and held unconstitutional. The early taxes were based on assessments, not voluntary tax returns. Tax payment dates varied by act.

The case of Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co. challenged the constitutionality of the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act of 1894 which taxed incomes over $4,000 at the rate of two percent. The case was decided by the US Supreme Court in 1895. The Supreme Court decided that the Act's unapportioned income taxes on interest, dividends, and rents were effectively Direct taxes. The Act was therefore unconstitutional because it violated the Constitution's rule that direct taxes be apportioned. In 1913, eighteen years later, the 16th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified, giving the US Congress the legal authority to tax all incomes without regard to the apportionment requirement.

The filing deadline for individuals was March 1 in 1913 and was changed to March 15 in 1918 and again to April 15 in 1955. Today, the filing deadline for U.S. federal income tax returns for individuals remains April 15 or, in the event that the 15th falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, the first succeeding day that is not a Saturday, Sunday or holiday.

But enough about taxes; let's talk more about drinking!

Two years ago, the website Kitchen Riffs wrote about The Income Tax Cocktail, which believe it or not is a classic, although with obscure origins. Legend has it that the ITC probably began as a variation on the Bronx cocktail (it's the same recipe, but with the addition of Angostura bitters). The Bronx was extremely popular in the pre-Prohibition era, although some of the more hardcore drinkers considered it "weak" because it contained orange juice. Speaking of orange juice, try to use fresh squeezed (easy with the Rabbit Citrus Juicer!), not the pre-made stuff, when you mix an Income Tax (or Bronx) cocktail. It really makes a difference. The recipe below yields one drink, although depending on how much you owe the IRS, you might want to fill your Rabbit Electric Cocktail Mixer to the top and make several.

Posted in: Holidays