Just like the swallows returning to Capistrano, this time of year finds flocks of W-2s and 1099s flying to our mailboxes. Tax time is coming!
I always view “Tax Season” with some apprehension. “Do I get money back?” “Do I have to pay this year?” “Where is that box of receipts!?”
Last year, Americans paid over $1.45 trillion in income tax. You read that right. Trillion. I’ll tell you, I was filled with a sense of patriotism when I realized that my $247 tax liability was going to make a significant contribution to that total. I lie awake at night trying to imagine how my contribution will be used. Golf balls at Mar-A-Lago? Toilet paper on Air Force One? Paint for a GBU-31 “smart bomb?” Light bulbs for the Washington Monument? The possibilities boggle my mind.
This is the time of the year that I’m glad I’m not one of the “1%.” If I was making obscene amounts of money I’d have to concern myself with capital gains and losses, charitable carryovers, net unrealized appreciation, non-qualified stock options, retirement saver’s credits, short sales, or vested benefits. Okay, okay, fine. That’s a lie. If I were one of the “1%,” I wouldn’t have to concern myself with any of that. I would just pay my tax attorney thousands of dollars to prepare my taxes for me while I remained on permanent vacation in Belize.
Well, I don’t make “obscene amounts of money.” Hell, I don’t even make “morally appropriate amounts of money.” So I do my taxes myself. On the Form 1040EZ it boils down to simple math. What I made in 2017 goes on line 6. The amount the government withheld form my paychecks in 2017 goes on line 7. On line 12 I put in the amount of tax I owe from the tax tables. If line 9 is bigger than line 12, I’m getting money back. Woo hoo! If not, I go into a deep state of depression. After all, these bills aren’t going to pay themselves you know.
Of course, with the nifty new Tax Reform Act, I’m told that I’m going to see my taxes go down. By my calculations my taxes will go down by about $32. Which is awesome if you ask me. Because that should be just enough to pay for that full tank of gas I’ve always wanted. Go me!
Yeah we all get a tax break, right. As my mother used to say, here’s a penny, spend it wisely.
Serious. That’s kind of how I feel right now.
Wait, what? You can get a full tank of gas for $32? OMG where do you live and do they deliver?
I want to know if they deliver too. Where I live $32 buys around 4 gallons.
Gosh, that’s awful. I’m sorry. I thought ours was high.
It’s about 2.50 a gallon here. And my car is small, so it only takes about 10 gallons to fill it (that said, I never seem to have a full tank). I can get a full tank AND a coffee/donut with my tax break. How much is it there?
Here in Aotearoa New Zealand, most wage and salary earners don’t need to complete a tax return. I haven’t needed to complete one for decades.
Unless you donate a lot to registered charities, the odds of getting a refund are minimal, so why bother 🙂
Hey, 32 dollars is 32 dollars… just think of all the things you can do with that? You can buy 32 items at the dollar store, 64 50cents stamps (if your inclined to write 64 letters), 6-7 tubs of Ben&Jerry ice cream…. or a tank of gas 🙂 I myself.. would go for the ice cream 😆
I think you’re right about the ice cream! I like the way you think!
Sure, gloat over that $32 you’re going to save. Well, it isn’t always about YOU! What about that GBU-31 that’s going to go unpainted? I hope you’re happy now!