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!