Holiday greetings from the IRS

Does it seem like the holidays are barely over before Uncle sam is knocking on your door with a familiar pink and blue greeting in hand? In fact, that is the case, with the US government mailing out 89.8 million income tax packages the day after Christmas. Does that add up to "unseemly haste" on the government's part -- a Treasury after all whose tax coffers will be short an estimated $50 billion to $60 billion during fiscal year 1981 alone? In that sense, there should be little surprise at the eagerness of the IRS to have returns mailed in as quickly as possible, particularly if any money is owed the government.

We suspect, however, that many taxpayers actually owing money will tightly cling to their returns right down to the wire of the April 15 deadline, as they have in past years. After all, there is still interest that can be earned on those dollars by the taxpayer himself, as opposed to yields that Uncle Sam can grner through a quick federal investment. For the estimated 75 percent of all taxpayers who will be getting refunds, however, there is compellign justification for mailing the return in as quickly as possible.

Now, if employers could only speed up processing of their W-2 forms, which too often don't arrive until late January or February, thus making it impossible to quickly complete the tax cycle.

Oh yes. The IRS reminds us: Don't forget to check your math, sign your forms on the proper lines and attach all schedules . . . including that often tardy W- 2 form.

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