No long ago I wrote about how the states receiving the most stimulus money were not changing their tax and spend ways and were generally not doing their citizens any favors with the new federal money. I compared a few of these tax and spend states – New York and California – with states having lower tax burdens, like North Carolina. Some of the comments were critical of my views, including mentioning all of the wonderful high paying jobs that could be found in the high tax states compared to other states.
I had five appointments this week. The first was a no-call, no-show. I hate that, because I could have stayed at the office and worked on projects that I can bill to clients. I brought my laptop with me to try to get some more work done but there was no public wireless network for me to connect to. Read more
This post is for the millions of Americans who wait until the final days to prepare and file their federal income tax returns. I am one of them, although strategically so. I haven’t received a refund in years, so I run a preliminary income tax obligation assessment in the beginning of December. Using that, I adjust my withholding from my final paychecks of the year, to make sure that I don’t incur an under-withholding penalty. After that, I periodically add data to the return as year-end statements are received. But I don’t finalize and file the return until the last day, because I am in no hurry to send the final installment on the sickening amount of taxes the government extracts from Mr. and Mrs. ToughMoneyLove. Read more
This week’s edition of my experiences in the AARP Tax-Aide volunteer’s office will be somewhat abbreviated. Recent demands of my paying job are extending the Mr. ToughMoneyLove work day at both ends. Read more
For the first time, my weekly experience in the volunteer tax preparer office was somewhat disappointing. Although I met some interesting people and completed 4 of 5 returns, there were none of the uplifting stories that I had become accustomed to hearing. Nevertheless, I think the stories may still be worth telling and learning from. Read more
I had 5 appointments plus I picked up a 6th so one of the other volunteers could leave early. This 6th appointment was the most enlightening to me. More about that in a moment. Read more
Today was my fifth opportunity to assist mostly lower-income senior citizens with their federal income tax returns. (I say “mostly” because one of my fellow volunteers showed me a return she prepared this week for a 20-something married (dink) couple with an $86k income. I think if that pair had showed up at my desk I would have had to ask “Are you sure you are in the right place?”) Read more
Today was my third weekly session as a volunteer tax preparer. I met more interesting people with yet more interesting hard truth stories involving the intersections of their money with their lives. That being the case, I thought I would continue to share them with you.
Mr. ToughMoneyLove tries to seek the hard truth about personal finance wherever it may lead. One of those areas is the confusion and complexity caused by our friends at that wonderful institution, the Internal Revenue Service. It always bothered me that in addition to sending the IRS so much of our money, many of us were forced to pay others to tell us how much we owed. Thus, I decided when I had to file my first tax return some 38 years ago, I would learn to do it myself. For all of these years, I have been waiting for Congress to junk the entire tax code and start over with something simpler, like a flat tax. I’m still waiting. Meanwhile, the tax code gets more complex. Thankfully, tax preparation software came along, making it easier to keep up. Read more