So, Taxes

Done yours yet?

Ours were done in March (yay! Accountant!) and we owed (boo! Taxes!) but we figured we might so we had budgeted for it (yay! Foresight!) and for the quarterly estimated payment which we also had to send in (boo! Taxes!).

I’m not one who thinks taxes are inherently evil or that I am egregiously overtaxed — they’re not and I’m not — but when I look at how much we send off on a year-to-year basis I understand how others feel those things. Because, damn. It’s a non-trivial sum. But then, I do like my roads and public schools and libraries and fighter jets. So there it is.

Anyway, how are yours coming along?

103 Comments on “So, Taxes”

  1. Yay! refund, Boo already spent.
    Taxes and spending. I suspect it is like any compromise. You know you have it right when nobody is really happy yet not mad enough to take further action to change the result.
    Now if we could only get them to follow your example and not spend more than they bring in.

  2. My practical-minded wife did them a month ago, but we Rhode Islanders have received a month’s extension (until May 11) from Uncle Sam due to the recent flooding. So I guess it was no pressure.

  3. Paid! Owed a lot, thanks to some consulting income and my lack of foresight re: estimated taxes. Oh well — if I’m paying taxes, it means I’m making money, right?

    Every year around this time, I wish I got an itemized bill from the government. Nothing fancy, just total up the broad expenses by percent of the budget, then say, “Hey: for every thousand dollars you paid in taxes, you paid $X for the military, $Y for the space program, and $Z for roads. (Oh, and since X+Y+Z > 1000, we borrowed twenty bucks for every thousand you paid)” That kind of thing. It’s probably overly simplistic, but it would be interesting.

  4. Got more back from the feds than we owed local and state combined, so its’ all good.

    And, as someone who will be driving through malfunction junction in Dayton every day all summer, some roads are NOT worth supporting with tax dollars. They should be allowed to die of natural causes and be replaced by the next generation – instead of being put on barely servicable life support.

  5. Yep,

    Worked, got taxed, sent it in. Still waiting for the thank you note..

    Thank you Sir! May I have another!

  6. Did mine back as soon as I had the necessary paperwork at hand, back in January. I knew I had a pretty decent refund coming (yay student loan interest credit! Boo student loans!) So since I like money, and could use it, say, to pay down aforementioned loans (boo student loans again!) I filed as soon as I possibly could.

  7. We got ours in early Feb. We got a few bucks back but have our withholding set pretty close. Downer was property taxes. Last year, was just an unimproved piece of land. Now that there’s a house on it, ouch! But yeah, with taxes I buy civilization.

  8. Did mine online last week. Got more back from the feds too, which was a pleasant surprise.

  9. Filed on February 2, got a modest return (under $1K) back in a couple of weeks. Guess that means we estimated things pretty well last year.

  10. “I do like my roads and public schools and libraries and fighter jets”.

    Ok with everything else but fighter jets, except in videogames and movies.

  11. Taxes are done and like you, we owed. Not a lot, but still we dropped a decent sized check in the mail. I don’t really consider that a bad thing as that means that we were paying about the right amount.

    I used to be one of those people who looked forward to a fat return check at this time of year, until I realized that I could have used that money during the year better rather than have the government hold it and make money off of me.

  12. I was paying a business accountant a ton of money to do my taxes (I have an S Corporation). This year I just uploaded my quickbooks file to turbo tax and did it that way. Saved me about $1000 in accounting fees. It was not as painful as I thought it would be…

    btw, turbo tax seriously nickles and dimes you if you need to do a business return. you have to buy turbo tax business for your business return, pay $55 to do the state return, then buy turbo tax deluxe to do your 1040 return. Seriously annoying.

    if you start an S corporation you don’t have to file quarterly tax payments. you also only have to pay self employment tax on what you choose to pay yourself (since the typical writer makes less than you, this will save you alot of money). you will need quickbooks for this and their payroll service, but the tax savings is alot. your payments go to the government when you pay your salary. quickbooks will send it all in for you.

    your accountant should tell you about this. S Corps have alot of advantages over LLCs. you will need to file a corporate return, but if you put all your earnings and expenses in quickbooks you can load the file into turbo tax. you do not pay corporate tax on an S corp. the earnings or losses just flow to your 1040. you put it in the k-1 section.

  13. We filed ours in January, because we rely pretty heavily on our refund each year. This year we used it to pay up a percentage of our rent, pay a year’s worth of my phone bill, fix our sad old car, and get new clothes for our rapidly growing kid. It was a good month, all in all.

  14. Did them in February. Was going to have a refund…then it went to paying hospital bills after a freak curling accident. :(

  15. Just did our taxes this last weekend- Yay! TurboTax Online!

    It turns out to our great astonishment that due to a confluence of changes in our income and various tax credits available, we are recieving a large refund. If we’d have known that, we’d have filed on February 1st. :)

    So: Yay! Education Tax Credit! Yay! Home Improvement Tax Credit! Boo! Letting the gov’t use my money interest free!

    Not to say that I don’t pay taxes- I pay my share, and am happy (well, maybe not happy but compliant) to do so. Just turns out I payed in way too much in withholding last year and would rather have put it to work for myself sooner.

    I second the wish for an itemized reciept of my purchases. I suspect that if this record actually existed, we’d see some dramatic changes in how the government spends our money in very short order…

  16. I wouldn’t mind paying so much if the tax collector would just refrain from showing up in the middle of the night and having his goons hold my wife and child at crossbow-point until I’m done loading the sacks of barley on his wagon. Honestly. It makes the dogs bark and I could really use the help.

    But, yes. Public good and all. We do need a new dunking stool at the Witch Pond.

  17. I will pay net negative taxes (yay!) because I’m poor (boo!). I could have filed earlier, but since state and federal are paying me more than my withholdings, I don’t mind letting them collect a few months interest on that money.

  18. Completed about a month ago. Got my state and federal refunds deposited before the beginning of March.

    Worries: I have one big charitable contribution I need a receipt for. $120 of food I gave to the office food drive. I have the grocery store receipts for the food; more pasta, canned beans, and cereal than any one person is likely to need in a year. But it looks like the IRS wants a receipt from the charity too.

  19. Mine was done last month. Government only had to pay me back a small amount of money (well, small in this case is covering gas for a month in an economical car).

  20. Pffft, Taxes. Do away with em! I can’t wait to see how “Interstates: Brought you by Kraft Foods” works out. only $2.99 a mile to travel on em. That is, unless you get pulled over by the blue-box police for not slowing down to read that last bill-board 100 meters back.

  21. I hate paying estimated taxes because you just never know how much it’s going to be until the accountant tells you and then it’s a shock. We’ve gotten used to it though. I’d rather the taxes just be taken out of the paycheck, but being self-employed, that doesn’t happen.

    Yeah, I do like the roads to be paved and those other things to be in place like police and fire. So it’s all good in the long run. Just hate writing the check is all.

  22. This was my first year owing, which although it sucked, was nice because it means I can actually make enough to make it on my own in the world. That’s just how I see it, at least.
    Still, I think there was some sort of worker’s credit I missed out on for being too young which made me a mite sad.
    Not looking forward to next year and the the filing confusion that appears to come with being self-employed. Any tips on where you even begin figuring out what’s what there? Or do you just save what you think you’ll owe and hope it adds up on 4/15?

  23. Roads and public schools and libraries and fighter jets are good. Six guys in three trucks setting around watching one guy replace those little reflectors on a rural road…. not so good.

  24. Done. Just finished the final check and will e-file later today. Getting money back, thanks to college tuition credits, and that will go back into the tuition fund.

    Don’t get me started on deregulated state university tuition here in Texas.

  25. I am doing mine now. Living In Sweden its not that fun. We had alot of tax cuts the latest years so I “only” pay 43% this year…. and I have a Blue-collar job.

  26. We paid a nice accountant who’s better at these things than we are to do our taxes, and will be getting a big chunk of money back. I have mixed feelings about that; money back is good (and better than suddenly owing it, given the uncertainty of income on contract work), but I keep looking at things like the local library’s staff shortages and thinking that maybe other people need that money more than we do.

  27. Finally mailed them – Gov owes us lots as employer continues to refuse to calculate a deduction for my wife.

    I still can’t believe how much time (and productivity) is wasted in the US doing taxes. You guys really need to sort it out, the Government knows nearly everything to calculate my taxes and either get it right first time or just mail me the cheque.

  28. @Ian Turton – Have to agree with you. I’m not an accountant. Why should they trust me to get it right? I suck at numbers stuff.

  29. I did mine in February and got a nice refund. I was going to buy a Mac for my wife and squirrel the rest away. Then work said “nope” and handed me a pink slip. Still hoping to buy my wife that Mac. It’s become a matter of principle now.

  30. My brother-in-law is in the military -in afghanistan now- so i feel better when i pay taxes that I’m paying his salary..only thing that keeps me sane aboout large payments

  31. Paid, but I would have had to pay more if I hadn’t hidden a chunk. I guess it’s not hiding if you tell the government where it is, but it’s hidden in the sense that I can’t use it until I’m old. Until then, I will miss my chunk.

  32. Done in March. I actually paid pretty much what I should have in quarterlies last year, so the final tax bill was — while admittedly more than I make in two weeks at my day job — less crippling than it has been in the past few years.

    I was a bit slow to figure out the professional writer learning curve when it came to quarterly taxes: when you get those big checks, for the love of all that’s holy, put a large percentage aside for the inevitable coming of April, June, September, and January!

    I’m a bit annoyed that, in California, the state is demanding 40% of annual estimated tax in the first quarterly payment, instead of the traditional 25%. But then I look at all the ten million potholes on the highways and think, okay, they can use the money sooner rather than later. And we don’t have to pay any quarterly state tax in September, which I’m sure future me will appreciate.

    The one annoying thing was a letter from the IRS claiming I owed them thousands of bucks from unreported income back in 2008 — a heart-stopping letter, though entirely their mistake, and my tax guy told them, “Um, no.” Still: unnecessary stress. Boo taxes.

  33. Got money back, and although I would say my attitude is similar to yours–taxes are no fun, but they apparently pay for numerous services and infrastructure that I enjoy on a regular basis, I would say that people who work a “regular” job where your employer deals with taking taxes from your check and then complain about it, really should try the freelance/self-employed version sometime to see if they have anything to whine about because:

    1. Quarterly payments of thousands of dollars that you slip into an envelope and mail to various government agencies;

    2. The so-called SE tax, which is to say, hey, you pay 7.5% social security and your boss pays 7.5% social security, but us self-employed folks pay both, which is 15%, boo!

  34. Did them early February. As usual, I got a refund from the feds and owed the state of California. Both have been wandering into negativeland, and this was the first year I paid more to the state than I got from the country. >:-(

    Despite this, I think my state ought to be taxing people in my bracket more…the place is going to hell.

  35. “Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.” — Oliver Wendall Holmes, Jr.

    Alas, in the US at this time, taxes are also what we pay for bombing other more-or-less civilized societies into rubble. (*)

    For those interested in playing with the big numbers, see The National Priorities Project at

    ((*) Although, to be more accurate — and even more cynical — taxes are what our children and their children will pay for us to bomb other more-or-less civilized societies into rubble. Because making a vague, half-hearted attempt at fixing our healthcare funding system must must must be deficit-neutral, but invading and occupying other countries can always be put on credit.)

  36. Taxes done in February. Received the refund already (yay). New set of twins sure helps for deductions.

  37. I did mine when I got all the various forms too, I think it was january. most of the refund went into savings (thus allowing me to vacate my parents basement this weekend, yay) but I bought me some spring clothes and a new ipod, too.

    my parents are the type to complain, but I make way less than they do and I’m happy to pay as long as my library continues to function and those damn potholes get filled

  38. I got my federal income tax refund yesterday and my state refund back two weeks ago just in time to pay for my flood insurance!

  39. We owe money. It appears that marriage, while an excellent choice in many ways and one that I certainly do not regret, was perhaps not the best idea from a purely financial perspective.

  40. finished it up end of March and they owe us – which we will use to pay the property tax (ironic, yea, i know…) – now on to finishing my bathroom floors ;>

  41. Steve Burnap @ 42:

    I’ve been known to vote for more taxes on myself. In fact, just a few weeks ago I happily voted for a measure that will — if plans and future votes go well — eventually result in a higher tax bill.

    Because even though we don’t have kids ourselves, I would really rather that the kids in our town go to a school that has an actual sprinkler system and a heating system that isn’t held together with duct tape and prayer. Especially since duct tape is the only one of those two things that I have faith in.

    (That said, local funding of schools is damned stupid … unless you want to discourage economic mobility.)

  42. Good news is that I didn’t have to file taxes this year! Yea! Bad news is that I had no income for this year and that’s why I didn’t have to file. Boo! Well, my social security disability hearing is at the end of the month, so hopefully next year will be better than this year, although the $700 I’m estimated to get really won’t cover much.

  43. Ours were done back In January, I think. Maybe February. Either way, paid for a root canal I needed. so, YAY! Money! Boo! Dentist! ?

  44. Just sent mine Sunday, along with this quarter’s estimated tax payment. “Married Filing Jointly” for the first time!

    I got a nice Fed refund as I overestimated my estimated taxes for ’09. However, I didn’t send in any state estimated, so I owed a bit there. No worry, I’ve been smart about keeping cash in the bank.

    TurboTax is my friend and savior. E-File and Direct Deposit of refund FTW!

    I’m thinking the refund will buy a couple of new Mac Minis. One to replace my ancient dual G4 tower music recording workstation, and the other to plug into the TV in the living room for digital video awesomeness!

  45. That SF story about allocating your taxes the someone will be asking about any moment now is “We, The People” by Jack C. Haldeman II (Joe Haldeman’s brother). Originally published in Analog, September 1983. Mr. Haldeman has kindly made the full text of the story available on his website:

    I’ve already gotten my refunds back from the Feds and one state. Waiting on the other state.

    Going to have to file an extention for my mom, I’m having trouble getting the backstory on one of the 1099s.

  46. Done in February. I’ve gotten my withholdings figured out so I get only a small refund (under $200) which is the way I prefer it- I don’t have to pay, but the gov’t isn’t getting much of a “free loan” off me.

  47. Got paperwork in January for mine. Kids threw it away. Got paperwork again in Feburary, wife threw it away (apparently a folder labeled 2009 Tax info isn’t obviously important). Finally got the third set of paperwork from all sources last week.

    Filed, got a huge refund from the feds & local (entirely due to the kids & my really low income this year).

    Which is immediatly getting paid out to cover old bills, car repairs, etc.

  48. Filed yesterday- middling refund from the feds, small one from Ca. Will turn it into an extra mortgage payment.

  49. We get an extra 2 weeks up here in the Great Green North.

    All receipts sent off to the accountant today. Am looking forward to some extra coin back from the This Year, One Time Only, Canadian Home Renovation Tax Credit. Now that’s a stimulus package that for once is nicely timed to scheduled house upgrades.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the first time my accountant has seen a WorldCon write-off, though.

  50. We did our taxes in February. Refund paid for a Wii (yay fun!) and real estate taxes (boo taxes!). Then a week or so ago, my wife finds some extra money in our account. Turned out to be our state refund (yay refund!) that was delayed because our state is experiencing liquidity issues (boo state liquids).

  51. Done and done. And I mean done. Paid a friend of the family to do them (yay), but we owe (boo) both state and federal (boo boo). Then again, we can afford it and generally have a pretty good standard of living (yay).

  52. Everything’s laid out on the dinner table. I’m going to finish it up soon as the cat gets off my foot. Thankfully nothing much changes from year to year, so I can just crib from the previous year.

    Wait, I remembered one thing. We got hot-water-on-demand installed, and there’s some gov’t rebate for that. Marc has to get the bill from upstairs for that. I think I’ll send him off on that errand now.

    Working from home for the win ;)

  53. Doing mine tonight. It’s very simple as it’s just me and there’s no way health + business expenses > std. deduction. Figure if I’m going to have to pay (like I have every year) I may as well wait to file until the last week.

  54. Done! Refund should arrive any day (yay, direct deposit). We owe the State (boo, not a fan of NY’s absurdly high tax rate), and that electronic payment goes out on the 15th. We’re planning to do house-fixing-up things with the refund (yay). Then we put the house back on the market and it will SELL, I tell you! (Yay, I hope.)

    I feel the same way about taxes. Oh sure, I’d like to keep the money for myself, but with my life-long love affair with libraries, I can’t really begrudge the money. I’m also very fond of roadways in good repair, firefighters and police officers.

  55. We owed both the state and the feds this year. This was mostly due to my wife’s freelance writing earning more than could be justified as “income earned from a hobby” this year.

    That said, we budgeted accordingly, so it wasn’t really all that painful.

  56. Done, a couple weeks ago! My bride, who handles these things, deserves a medal of some kind, as she was the first person to discover an error in how TurboTax computes things for totally self-employed married couples who moved from New York City to Wisconsin midway through last year. Actually, she is probably the only person who ran into that error—I hope so, anyway, because she spent more than two hours on the phone, mostly on hold, with the TurboTax people trying to solve it, to no avail. It had to be redone by hand.

    The good news is, we had overpaid just a little on our quarterlies and we bought a house, so we have a juicy direct deposit coming to us. Also, I became a real grown-up and opened my first Roth IRA. The better news is, next year’s taxes should be much, much easier.

  57. Did ours back in late Jan. Got just enough from the Feds to cover what we owed to the State. w00t.

    Next year will be more complicated since I’ll actually have income to report on my writing. Hopefully won’t be much more complicated. I’m saving receipts and such. wee.

  58. I was only on the payroll for half of last year, so I’m getting a nice fat check. Which is better than having to send them one, but I’d prefer to be coming out even, because my savings account pays interest and they don’t.

    Spending it on my honeymoon. Or on replenishing the savings account from which we are paying for the honeymoon–either way you want to look at it.

  59. I did our taxes on Feb 14th… oddly enough, my wife thinks it’s the perfect Valentine’s day gift (yes, I do this every year).

  60. Bob @ 65:

    Wait…Ohioans get fighter jets?

    The federal government has kindly hosted at least some of Ohio’s share of its fighter jets at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

    Plus, Ohio has an Air National Guard, though the intertubes aren’t letting me find out where they’re based. They definitely have some fighter jets, though — two Ohio Air National Guard F-16 reportedly had a near-miss with a passenger plane last Saturday.

  61. There was a study released about half a year or so ago on taxes which showed that people are okay with taxes as long as they see a return on the investment. So a place that has high taxes but good roads, police, and schools has its residents pretty well satisfied with their tax burden, while those of us in California are frustrated because the schools are of varying quality (I’m in a good area but there’s a horrendous one only ten miles away), the roads are ill-maintained, and some places seem to be police states rather than safe communities.

    Not to mention the idea of closing state parks.

    At any rate, I’m so sick of the CA budget battles and the late budgets that I’d like to implement my parents’ solution: When the budget is late, air conditioning to the Capitol is turned off and attendance becomes mandatory.

  62. Did mine back in Feb. It was horribly complicated because we sold one house, bought another and sold a crapload of company-granted stock to pay for it all (plus there was weird home office deduction stuff to muck with–eep!) But it all worked out.

    I don’t mind paying taxes, even though we’re in a fairly high bracket. I consider taxes the dues one pays to be a member of a civilized society.

  63. Got mine done just yesterday, after about two hours spent on the phone with Intuit trying to get TurboTax to handle the state return correctly…we moved from California to Texas last year, with the majority of our income derived from a Texas job while living in Texas. Apparently if you have to file a state return in two states, it can deal with allocating the income between them, but if you move to a state that doesn’t tax income you have to jump through some hoops to get it to deal. Anyway, we wound up getting a decent amount refunded from the Federal return (getting to deduct moving expenses helped) and paying a small amount to the state of California (down from a rather larger amount after the previously-mentioned two hours).

  64. i finished our federal and state taxes back in february (close to the end i think). i still have to file our city form but that’s just a “fill it out so we know you’re still here” kind of thing.

    our city went back to granting credit for taxes paid in the city in which my husband works so we don’t owe them. for a couple of years we had to pay because they only granted a half percent credit on taxes paid to other cities. that kind of hurt.

    i am grateful to live in a city in ohio that uses its taxes prudently and for the actual good of the city. i’m sure that there are people who would bitch and moan and want to argue with me about that statement but you know what? we have an excellent school system and, even though i don’t have children, that affects me because in the long run it affects my property value. we have roads that continually get improved and are maintained, our trash gets picked up, we have police and fire and medical aid when it’s necessary. and we have all the other things that make living in a city more comfortable.

    what i don’t really understand, no matter how much i read, is state taxes. every year they seem to fluctuate drastically for us and i just can’t figure out why. state taxes will be the end of me.

  65. Paid this week. We did them in February, but thanks to a) my not realizing how withholding changes when you switch from “single” to “married” and b) the IRS screwing up the tax tables when they changed people’s withholding for the “making work work” tax credit or whatever it is, we owed a significant sum that we were rather unprepared for. C’est la vie, though, and withholdings have been adjusted accordingly for this year.

  66. Done back in mid-Feb., by phone (a nifty Canadian system). I’m low-income (disability benefits), so personal deductions and the like totally wipe out taxable income.

    Typically I’ll get around $600 back, about half from voluntary tax withholding from my benefits and the rest from sales and property tax credits. The nice thing about the phone-file system (same is probably true of filing online, if you have their approved software) is that assessments (and refunds, if appropriate) are quite fast, typically no more than 10-14 days from filing. Refund this year went into knocking down my Visa balance, most of which is from Amazon purchases.

  67. Done two months ago — had to do so to get Thing2’s financial aid forms in.

    Got money back (boo, interest free loan to the fed), because I didn’t make as much as I expected (double boo).

  68. I find it refreshing to see so many of the commentators here understand that we do receive value for our Federal, State, and local taxes. Also, that in the U.S. we are no where near overtaxed as are so many of the other “first world” nations.

    Plus, I like to pay higher taxes. Way back when I was doing taxes for clients at an international public accounting firm, I had a client bitterly complain about paying the IRS some $60,000 in tax one year on his quarter of a million dollar income. I had paid about $3,500 on my pittance of an accountant’s income. What I thought at the time was, “Idiot, let’s swap places. I would be delighted to send Uncle Sam sixty grand and still have some $190K left over to live on.” Naturally, I kept my mouth shut.

    My taxes were done and filed six weeks ago. I mailed my wife’s separate return today. We’re good for another year.

  69. Putting the finishing touches on ours now. Big checks going out tomorrow, thanks to being forced into independent consulting work for several months last year before getting a full-time position. But expected, and have money set aside (and bill is within 5% of estimate made a year ago!)

    What hurts the brain is writing a check that’s bigger than my gross income the first year out of college …

  70. I don’t have to pay (I pay in Japan) but I still have to file and it’s a pain in the Tuckus and, to my mind, a waste of government time and money. Ah well…

  71. Done. We file “married” according to the state we are. Or were. Or might be. There’s apparently some debate to be had about my private life yet…go figure. The feds don’t think we are, so for them we’re single.


    But…all done. One half of us earned a refund, the other half (ahem…me) owed. Still and all, we came out ahead.

  72. Death and taxes. Finished, but did not make enough to actually be taxed. Hate being poor.

  73. It is a pleasure and a privilege to pay my taxes each year. Taxes are the dues we pay to live in a civilized society. I like civilization, how about you?

    I just sent in my tax check and I would gladly double it if I could similarly double the effectiveness of it’s civilizing influence.

  74. I just thank God I am not self employed; so my accounting is vastly simplified by comparison to, say, science fiction authors.

  75. They’re all ready, will be filing them today as soon as I get home from work. Apparently I’ll be getting about $600 more than I paid in (yay!). Of course, that’s because of student loans (boo!) and being under the poverty line (boo! again). I wonder if there’s a way to send the refund directly to the loan company?

  76. Taxes were done in February, but I just mailed in my tear-stained big-ass check today. The price we pay for civilization. Still, ow.

  77. I find it moderately absurd that I’m working with those fighter jets that Scalzi mentioned, and yet I got paid so little last year that I received all of my taxes back. (About $1250)

    So… woot for the bonus money back that I had already earned, I guess.

  78. did mine with a program. payed the Feds and refund from CA. even after the cost of the program I came out $40 bucks ahead.

    and I’d like to point something out to the ” … we’re being taxed to death!..” folks:
    I live in CA and it ain’t cheap. I’m single and have a mortgage. I don’t have any kids to deduct and no debt (other than home). I paid less than 8% in taxes this year.

    really? that’s too much?

  79. Filed fed in February via TurboTax online, for financial aid documentation, and an early refund.

    Waited til this week to do state and local. (TT offers to file state too, but considering that PA has basically a simple flat tax, and lets you file directly with them online, paying the $30 extra TT wanted seemed kind of silly).

    Just this evening I dropped off the local tax form and payment in one of the neighborhood mailboxes, on a walk with my kids up a block filled with trees in flower much like the one in your other article (except amidst houses rather than fields). A nice way to finish things off; it helps me think of some of the things I like about the place we live, and not just the taxes that we pay to live here.

  80. I pay a fairly hefty tax bill. Luckily, I was able, due to the astute financial planning of my wife, to pay it all at once. One of the many reasons I obey her every command (sometimes).

    I don’t like taxes. I think we’re overtaxed and the federal government overspends (and is inefficient in its spending to boot). While I very much approve of schools, roads and fighter jets, I very much disaprove of much of what my taxes (and yours) are also spent on. For example, 13.6% toward interest payments on past debt. If the government had lived within its means to begin with, we wouldn’t have debt service taking up a not insignificant portion of our tax bill. A percentage that will most certainly increase over the next decade or so.

  81. thildebrandt @90

    I just sent in my tax check and I would gladly double it if I could similarly double the effectiveness of it’s civilizing influence.

    Well, given the state of the National Debt (which stands currently at 12,831,193,383,690.69) I think that you could effectively help our country remain civilized by paying more than you owe the government to pay down that debt. I mean if we default on that debt, things could get very uncivilized very quickly.

    Thankfully, the Government has a way for you and others who feel that they just do not pay enough in taxes to directly donate as much as you want to directly pay down the debt. Just go here.

    I think it’s amusing that you could donate by credit card.

    I wonder if your donation also qualifies as a tax deduction? Not that you’d take a deduction…

  82. Frank @ 100: That’s really interesting! I was wondering what the impact would be if every working person donated $1. I assumed 205,794,364 working age ppl in the US (15-64 age group according to the CIA World Factbook), minus the unemployed at 19,138,876 (CIA say 9.3% unemployment), which leaves roughly 186,655,488 working ppl in the US. Then I laughed because it would barely put a dent the debt. LOL.

    Anyone got a trillion dollars they want to donate to the US when they die? Bueller?

  83. Randi

    Actually, it’s worse than that. Since

    That negative balance excludes government obligations for social insurance programs, mainly Social Security and Medicare.

    the actual liabilities facing our current government, according to the Treasury Department, is not $12 trillion dollars

    simple addition indicates that the total net position of the government is a whopping negative $57.4 trillion.

    Now that’s a lotta bananas.

    But is $57 trillion enough of a burden for people to take to the streets all over America?

    It turns out that watching Goldman Sachs, the United Auto Workers, public employee unions and a raft of other vampires drain the treasury at America’s weakest moment in a generation will make a person pretty hacked off.

    No. Really?

    Clearly not everyone.

    There is little doubt you all will be paying a bunch more in taxes to support my retirement whether you want to or not. But I am glad to see that some of you truly think you can afford more.

    I thank you all.

    That’s assuming everything doesn’t collapse before I get to retire.

    …or during…

  84. My taxes actually got smaller than last year. Apparently if you make over $10,000 they start letting you have your money. . .so I’ve had my money this whole time. But what the heck have I been spending it on? O.o

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