~ Part of Lesson One: If you don't know 'how' you get taxes, then you cannot understand that as a Citizen, you have more influence than you realize when it comes to Tax Code, and Tax Law & Rule Changes.
The reason Tax Payers and Tax Services have to wait until the middle of January to start the Tax Filing Season is because the Congress, the House of Representatives and the Executive Branch (President and Crew) have to finalize and agree with what your 1040 is going to say, what Exemptions will be given, any Credits, Changes of Tax Rates etc.
One thing I will ask those who are able: Contact your State & Federal Representatives and voice your loud Concern over the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). If it is not repealed, or another "fix" put on it, for the Tax Year of 2008, it will be the final straw for many Middle Class Taxpayers.
Incomes from $19,000.00 - $155,000.00 are paying an inordinate rate of their entire income in Taxes. [Remember the tax paid on everything; utilities, state & local, goods, bonuses, fuel, phones, license, registrations, etc].
If the AMT goes on without attention, many of those in the income brackets listed previously will have their usual deductions partly or completely phased out - in other words...Your Mortgage Interest, College Tuition etc will no longer be a deduction for you. For those who will have a huge loss on Schedule D this year, the final straw will be how much tax you will still have to pay.
At present, those making over $200,000.00 pay less as it goes up. Please talk to your Tax Professional, CPA or Accountant about the AMT, then your Congressional Representatives. We are the People and we have a voice, we just don't remember how to use it.