Hate is a strong word…
March 27, 2015
If you think about it our dislike of taxes started a little over 240 years ago even before our fore fathers through some tea into the Boston Harbor, but back then it was because we were being taxed without any say in how the money was used. After we fought a war about taxes though we have come up with a way to have taxation and representation and since then taxes have been a necessary evil that has plagued our existence.
The necessary part is that if we didn’t pay something we would not have things like road repair or police protection and a few other things that the government provides. Of course the evil part is that we have to pay multiple taxes in many different ways then at the beginning of each year we have to adjust what we have paid with what we should have paid. This of course is known as filing your taxes.
But if all that isn’t confusing enough we also have to deal with different laws that our elected officials have so thoughtfully enacted, supposedly making the process fair and ensuring there is enough money to cover the wants and needs of the United States citizens. To this end law makers demanded that each year all citizens put on their accountant hat and try to muddle through these laws and file their tax return. Because even if you hire someone to do the actual work you have to gather all the little pieces of your life can give them to a total stranger, who hopefully understands how these laws work.
So now that the filing your tax deadline is almost upon us let’s look at the Top Ten Reasons we really do hate doing our tax returns.
This has to be number one on everyone’s list, because if you itemize you better have receipts showing what you have spent and why, and if you have a business this can really cause you some headaches. Along with the receipts you will also have to have other forms of documentation providing different type of information on various other items in your life.
We all live in fear that we have listed something wrong, forgot to divide by two and carry the one in our calculations or just don’t have enough documentation. Because if you get audited you have to go to the IRS sit in the electric chair and go over each and every line before you come out with a hopefully reasonable conclusion and get it all worked out.
Even if you use the “EZ” form there is plenty of paperwork to keep you busy for quite some time. Then if you do have items like a home, car, boat, income property or anything other than just a W2, you have about a thousand forms that you have to fill out. Also if you choose the wrong form it could cost you in the form of a lesser amount in your refund.
Here again even if you fill out the “EZ” form you have to go to a worksheet, answer some questions, make sure your calculations are correct than carry the answer over to the correct line on the correct page and whatever you do make sure you have copied the number correctly because if not everything from there on out is wrong…and we did talk about the audit right?
Okay, you figure if you go to a tax preparer basically all he or she does is ask you questions and then fill in the blanks. So why should you pay them a humongous amount of money when you can answer the same questions and pretty much work it out yourself. The one thing you have got to remember is that they know what questions to ask. Also if for some reason they don’t know how to handle something they know where to find the answers. If you have ever tried to ask a question on one of those self prepare tax preparer sites you know this is virtually impossible. So make sure you have all your ducks in a row before going down the not so easy do it yourself path.”
Okay for those of us who just can’t fathom the idea of sitting down with a calculator, all that paperwork, a pencil or just all that stuff and the computer, thankfully there are processionals that will do the work for you. But, here again, if you have ever trudged into you tax preparer’s office carrying a year’s worth of information. Then set there and tried to answer or find the answer to all their questions you know that this is no simple task either. Because if you are not a very organized person, this process will be just as painful as trying to do it yourself, the one good thing is that if something is wrong the tax professional will go to the audit with you.
Yeah this should really rank up there with receipts. Because if you have ever sat down and read through what is or is not a deduction you know that by the time you are done you just may not have any hair left. The really funny part is that even though you may be somewhat eligible to take a deduction, if you read one more item you’ll probably find out that, nope you can’t claim it. I really believe they throw those ringers in there just to get you going or maybe it’s to make sure that you have read everything…we did talk about audi.
3. Tax Laws
Anyone who has ever filed their taxes will tell you that the biggest problem they have had is that the laws and rules change from year to year. There are people who spend many hours in class every year trying to figure out how to file taxes correctly and accurately and they have to do this every year.
This is the fear of many people. We all would rather get a small amount back then have to pay more money to the government. Because many times you don’t have enough money on hand to pay a lump sum so you spread out the payments. Then they add penalties to it and you end up paying more. It just doesn’t get better no matter how hard you try.
You may think getting a large sum of money back from the government is a good thing. But many financial advisors say that this is not the case. If you are getting a large amount of money back on your tax return it means that you have let the government hang on to your money and it doesn’t have to give you any interest on that amount. So you have given the government free money to use during the year. If you would have put that much money in a back it would have earned interest, but then again if you would have done that then the government would have taxed your earnings.
These are just a few things that many people find they don’t like about filing their taxes, and we all can find something about the tax system that we just don’t like. But most people are good citizens and follow the law which means we take that plunge once a year. Report their earnings and pay their taxes.
Of course there are also those who wonder if the tax laws are fair? The answer is they are supposed to be. Our lawmakers work very hard to put out a tax structure that is equitable for everyone. But many people feel that these laws are about as far from equitable as you can get. These people feel that the rich do not pay their fair share and the middle class pays more than their fair share. Others argue that if the rich had to pay more taxes then the economy would falter. Either way we are all kind of stuck with the system, because so far at least, no one has come up with a solution that works for everyone.
Whether fair or not when you look at the premise of paying taxes you can see that this is something that is necessary to keep the country running. If you want to have government provided services someone has got to pay for them. Since the government is supposed to work for the citizens this means it is up to us to supply the funds.
Does the government manage the money we pay them well? That is for another time and another debate. For now we will say that right or wrong we really don’t like the drudgery of filing taxes but we do it once a year to make sure we are staying within the law. So roll up your sleeves put on your accountant hat and get those returns filed. April 15, is not too far away.