Thursday, March 21, 2013

"Let's do our taxes" is no longer a euphemism

"'In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." Benjamin Franklin.

I don't think Ben expected that quote to become as famous as it did when he penned it in a letter a hundred years ago, but it still rings true today.

When I was younger, and first started working full time, I couldn't wait for tax time, because it meant I'd been getting back a couple of hundred dollars from the taxes I paid in. Once I got married, the refunds got a bit larger. Although, now when the sidekick says “lets do our taxes” it’s not a euphemism for escaping behind closed doors.

This year, like the past ten before (when he retired from the military), he’ll gather all the financial statements and try to figure out, if any, how much money we’ll get back. Yes, my husband prefers to do the taxes himself. No, he does not have a degree in accounting. Like most men, he does not like to ask for directions but would prefer to circle the hemisphere looking for the interstate. Okay, so far he’s not gotten lost amongst the 1040’s and 1099’s and we’ve been lucky enough to get a refund, but I still think it would be better to have a professional look at it and see if he can find more deductions.  (Now that all the kids are grown, we lose those tax breaks.) But that’s not a debate I wish to have. For some reason, it gives him a sense of accomplishment to do the paperwork, as if he’s thinking to himself Those bastards aren’t gonna wear me down! And, he does get us a refund each year which we use for vacation.

Anyway, doing the taxes isn’t really that hard, just time consuming. This year I did the taxes for my kids....they have their own jobs. Their taxes are easy to do because they don’t make much money, so it’s the EZ form. And, sadly, they don’t get much back either. This year, my son had to pay into state, which is the fault of the company he works for because they didn’t do the paperwork correctly. His federal refund wasn’t anything to jump for joy about either....of course he only makes $24000 a year....which is horrible for a security guard who has to put his life on the line as much as the local police do. (don’t get me started)

So....before this turns into a rant....have you done your taxes yet? If you’re getting a refund, what do you plan to do with it?


Stacy McKitrick said...

Finished those taxes last month and SOOOO glad it's done. I hate doing them (and I DO have a degree in accounting!).

We used to have to pay each year (another reason I hated doing them), until I started this writing gig. Now the money sits in the bank and will most likely be used toward paying off the house. I know, BORING!!

Judith Ashley said...

Got them done yesterday and my refund will cover the cost of the person who does my taxes with a little over $100.00 left for other things. This year I'll most likely put it in savings and use it this summer for my rock money (crystals, etc.) on a trip to Ohio and/or the beach.

I may try doing them myself in a couple of years when I no longer have a dependent and my only income is from retirement and writing.

I do remember the days when I got a couple of thousand dollars and I also remember the days when I paid multiple thousands of dollars. I may not get much back but I don't pay anything either. I'm one of the 47% who is retired and still works but don't earn enough money to have taxable income.

Sarah Raplee said...

We filed last Friday. Paid in a couple of thousand between federal and state, but we expected that as my husband retired early and went into business for himself.

Now, the trick is to make those quarterly tax payments so we don't get swacked next year!

Diana McCollum said...

Just finished my taxes 5 mins ago, and whoop-pee! The IRS won't be coming after my first born child. We don't owe federal or state. broke even. I too, remember the good old days when my husband and I both worked and paid a lot in to taxes. We always got a big refund which was nice.