There’s one in every neighborhood: The person who is super-prompt about filing his tax return.
His W-2 forms arrived last week, and he’s already got his return signed and in the envelope ready to go.
Because he’s getting a refund and he knows it.
And you’re saying, Dave, why would that be a problem?
This is the kind of good reliable citizen we need more of.
Ordinarily I would agree, except there is a deadline coming up; a deadline we’ve faced many times before: February 7 is when the latest agreement to suspend the debt ceiling expires, and once again we are going to have to hear public officials saying ‘Where oh where will the greatest nation one earth get the money to pay its debts?!’
Well, it turns out that among those debts it must pay – are those tax refunds claimed by super-prompt tax filers.
If the deadline had come in April, no problem. Because April is when the people who owe money tend to file, so that in April the Treasury is awash in cash.
But Congress – which loves a good crisis – set this deadline in February, insuring it would hit at the worst possible time.
However, here’s the beautiful thing: there is no law that says you have to file early. There is no law that says you have to claim your refund right away.
How great would it be if millions of Americans who are due a refund engaged in a little healthy procrastination, and didn’t file until April?
It would deny Congress a crisis! We wouldn’t have to hear about how the troops can’t get paid. The White House couldn’t threaten to close monuments, we might get through the entire winter without a budget crisis.
Instead it would happen in spring when at least it might be a little warmer.