Confession: I LOVE doing my taxes. I think it’s just fascinating to see how everything fits together according to current tax code, and at the end of it you’re either right on target, you give more money to government or Uncle Sam gives you a nice big (or small) refund.
But let’s be honest, it’s not like I’m taking a pen to paper and doing my own taxes. I have no tax training, that would be stupid. Instead, I’m using tax prep software (TurboTax specifically, but H&R Block to double check). Unfortunately I had to do a little upgrade this year, because instead of just W-2s and 1099-INTs from the bank, I have a slew of random forms… no less than two W-2s, a 1099-Misc for my new job, a bunch of other 1099s from the banks for interest and my rollover IRA, plus payment from Adsense and the secret shopper firm I work with. Confused yet? I know I was.
Last year I received close to a $1,000 refund and that didn’t sit well with me. Psychologically I LOVED the $1k bump to my Roth IRA (because it went straight there), but the logical side of me hated that the US Government was keeping that money as an interest free loan from me. The nerve!
So this year I intentionally set my withholding very low. My two W-2s showed up in my mailbox in mid-January, so I entered them. After the first one, it showed a refund of $800. First reaction was excitement! Then logic took over. I entered my next W-2, it dropped to $500 and I felt disappointment. Then I mentally smacked myself for being disappointed and moved to the next forms. As I entered everything, it dropped to just $130.
It’s not $0, but I consider that close enough. Job well done to me!
Did you get your taxes completed early? Did you get a refund or have to write a check?