Tax Time: The Dread of the New Year

Well, another year has come and gone.  It is now 2013.  We survived the turning over of the Mayan calendar.  The days are getting longer.  With all of the things to be happy for, including an upcoming trip to Europe, it still feels like there’s a large weight on top of me.  At least I know the cause of this feeling.  Income taxes.

I don’t have a problem with paying my fair share of taxes.  In order for our society to function, the government needs money to operate.  There are a couple of things that would eliminate the feeling of this weight I have every year at this time.  Neither one of them is likely to occur in my lifetime.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the government that we send our tax dollars to would spend the money wisely?  Unfortunately, this is just not possible.  I see the same lack of common sense in the way money is spent by the company where I currently work.  The law enforcement agency I retired from had the same problem.  The government clearly has this problem considering how much we are in debt.  We’d probably all feel better about paying taxes if we had some say in the way the money is spent.  It’s unlikely we could all agree on how to spend the money, so we let the politicians decide for us.  Now, there’s a recipe for disaster.

The other problem, and the more direct reason for the feeling of the weight, is the tax guessing game.  I do my own taxes using tax preparation software on my computer.  Every year, it’s like playing a slot machine.  When I put in all the figures, am I going to get a refund or am I going to have to pay more.  The tax law in this country is humongous.  It’s a wonder that anyone can find their way around it.  It would be so much simpler and a lot more fair if everyone just paid a percentage of what they made.  No deductions, no exemptions, no shelters, no complicated tax code.  People who made little would pay little in taxes.  People who made more would pay more.  Corporations, who make billions of dollars profit, would actually pay their share of taxes.  I think the government would have plenty of money to squander as they do with our tax dollars now.  Why does the government, and any other large organization for that matter, have to make things so complicated.

I usually finish my tax returns around the end of March.  So, for the first 3 months of every year, I go through this feeling of uncertainty.  Once the tax returns are sent off, it is always such a relief.  If I guessed right with estimated payments last year, it’s more of a relief when I don’t have to fork over any extra cash.

So, we’re only 2 days into the new year and I’m already looking forward to the next 3 months being gone.  Thanks to our government for making me lose 3 months of peace each year.

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