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Since I’ve been writing about so many Bulgarian holidays and bizarre celebrations , I decided to share a little bit about a unique American day for a change.

Tax Day or April 15th is officially the day on which tax returns are due. US citizens, residents, and aliens have to file tax statements on their previous year’s income to the state and federal government. The federal administrative agency that is responsible for collecting taxes and enforcing tax law is the Internal Revenue Service, the dreaded IRS.

Tax Day is a unique holiday in the American pop culture together with April Fool’s Day, Super Bowl Sunday, and Marathon Monday.  Alas, it could be very stressful for those who put off their taxes until just before the deadline. At night on April 15th, last-minute tax filers wait in long lines at major 24/7 postal offices in order to buy stamps and have their tax returns postmarked before midnight. 

Usually, Tax Day is associated with great financial frustration and many retailers offer special promotions to relieve taxpayer’s stress (Free Starbuck’s Coffee on Tax Day). The day after Tax Day, on the other hand, is a day for generous celebration!

Unfortunately, even poor foreign college students with absolutely no income and no understanding of the IRS also have to file taxes. Failure to do so shows up on our “record” (whatever that is). Well, I did file my taxes on time, and it was actually an interesting experience. Although I was exempt from paying anything and although I got to fill out only one fifth of the forms a regular taxpayer should fill out, I felt very good about doing something that the rest of this community does. Filing my tax return actually made me feel like part of the American community. It sort of showed me that I’m in Boston not only to get an education and to have fun, but also to be a responsible member of this beautiful city’s community. I guess, our community.

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April 2010

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