Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax

The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.

Albert Einstein, (attributed) US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)


I was going to look for a tax quote, but I didn't need to. This one showed up as a quote of the day.

"Go to bed today." Is one of the house rules – which some residents occasionally defy. I barely made it last night! And once in bed, my mind was so revved I had trouble sleeping. I woke up at 4am and lay there for an hour TRYING to sleep. I wish I were that awake now!

I spent all evening with Turbo Tax on-line - and I got my taxes done!

I had thought about going to someone, but was nervous about buying a pig in a poke

- A poke is a small sack or bag and is the origin of the word pocket. The word is still in use in several English-speaking countries, notably Scotland and USA. A poke is just the sort of bag that would be useful for carrying a piglet to market.

A pig that's in a poke may turn out to be no pig at all. If a merchant tried to cheat by substituting a lower value animal, the trick could be uncovered by letting the cat out of the bag. The advice has stood the test of time and people have been repeating it for getting on for five hundred years, maybe longer.

.. and besides, they are all getting pretty booked up. So, I decided to grow up, be brave and try Free File. Which led me to Turbo Tax On-line which walked me through it step by step. It took a long time, but it wasn't hard at all. Of course, it did help that I had spent quite some time previous reading up on what I would need so I had all my information handy.

And oh, happy day! I do NOT owe money. I am getting money back! (sing a happy song!)

Of course, that's part of the problem. Not only was I pretty excited about actually doing my taxes more or less myself, but I was going round and round about what to do with the money! The possible list is VERY Long - Save for my old age - Debt reduction – missionary clothes – I would really like a lap top – none of us have working cameras – I still think about that mini-van – my car's brakes are making noise and she's do for 60,000 mile service – back yard shed for bikes and tools – et cetera, et cetera – not to mention, which I am sure you noticed I didn't, all the home repairs that need doing! Decisions, decisions!! (I am so bad, I entered a PCH contest with a $10,000 prize and I thought "Only $10,000! That's not nearly enough!") So, you can imagine that my tax refund is not going to go very far!!

I am jazzed ! It is done and I was a little concerned that I might owe, since the withholding is based on my salary alone, but I also am taxed on alimony. I had some good deductions. I am so happy I am getting money back. It's a good feeling.

I found some more good tax quotes anyway.

Fear is the tax that conscience pays to guilt. George Sewell

Next to being shot at and missed, nothing is really quite as satisfying as an income tax refund. F. J. Raymond

I don't know about the former, but the later IS nice.

The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest amount of hissing.

Jean Baptiste Colbert

I guess it's working for me right now.

The wages of sin are death, but by the time taxes are taken out, it's just sort of a tired feeling. Paula Poundstone

Oh, so that's what it is. I am tired!

Hey, take the poll on the right. What do you think? If your answer is not there, comment.

Off I go, humming a happy patriotic tune (but at least slightly off-key)


  1. I read the poll to Ryan and he said, "I'm a proud tax payer. I believe in paying what I owe. Not more, not less, but what I owe."

    Is that up there? lol

    I'm glad you're getting a return! :) Very happy news!

  2. Ryan sounds like Absolutely! to me. Good for him! I am not quite that good. I went with Yes, but not as much. Maybe, I would. It would be a wrestle.

  3. Yay!!! I(I should say 'we') have been die hard Turbo Tax fans since 2001. My favorite part is the return in your account the following friday!! This was our smallest return ever, because I had set my W4 so high. 10 deductions leaves me paying. So, I changes that. LOL. Good thing Bill was only claiming 4.

    Congratulations on the return!!

    Oh, and if you used their direct deposit feature, your stimulus check the 1st week in May will be direct deposited. How convenient!! The rest of everyone will get theirs in check form starting the 2nd week of May.

    Have a great day!!!


  4. Yeah, the government is giving you back the money they took from you that you didn't owe. How nice of them to keep your money interest free for so long.


  5. David, that's a little harsh. I help decided how much they withdraw. I set 0 deductions on my withholding just to make sure that I wouldn't end up owing alot. Last year I also benefited from a one-time large purchase - my car. That's a deduction I won't have next year. I also claimed a goodly amount of charitable contributions. Tithing is a regular, of course, but I also counted Scout mileage and a PBS contribution.

    If I were smart enough to figure out my approximate taxes in advance, I could save the money myself instead and collect interest. But I have been too ignorant and lazy. I may look into it in the futrure. As it is I am just happy to have a refund instead a of debt. I was concerned they wouldn't tax my wages enough to offset alimony.

    Also, I am so glad to live in America, that I am quite willing to pay my share and even let them have the interest on my overpayment, at least this time. At this point, the government is in more financial trouble than I am, so they need it.