Some sort of taxitude

“What we have here,” Marion Barry is supposed to have said, “is an egregemous miscarriagement of taxitude.” Which actually fairly represents my attitude toward the national tax system, the successful negotiation of which requires jumping through numerous hoops, not all of them properly round.

Of course, this does not exempt me from having to file, and in March I decided that the time to file would be the first weekend of April. The fact that said weekend begins on April Fool’s Day did not occur to me.

Anyway, I downloaded all the forms and instructions I expected to need, got halfway down Schedule A, and said loudly: “This is bullshit.” And so, after six years of sending in hard copy, I went back to online filing, which at least one firm would do for me for free provided I sent in my state return in the same session for $14.95.

I got through it in less than an hour, which surprised me. What didn’t surprise me (much) was discovering that the state would be collecting half of my Federal refund. I can’t remember the last time I actually got a refund from the state, and while I could easily look it up — I have all my returns for the last 40 years or so — I really don’t give enough of a damn. Besides which, you have to figure that a state in which almost everyone ends up in the top bracket and yet runs hundreds of millions of dollars in the hole is obviously Doing Something Wrong.

(I’m serious about that top-bracket stuff. For us forever-alone types, the top marginal rate, 5 percent, kicks in at a meager $7200 a year. Now that’s egregemous.)





7 comments

  1. fillyjonk »

    3 April 2017 · 2:51 pm

    After being startled about having to pay Federal taxes on last year’s state refund (wasn’t I taxed on that money once already?), I decided to donate the (princely sum of) $40 I was supposed to get back from the state to the Regional Food Bank.

    Besides, given what’s going on in this state, I suspect they can use it.

    Here’s hoping some kind of fairy-tale karma ensues in return for that action and there won’t be a time in the future where **I** have to resort to using a food bank. But I don’t know, given that the state’s “rainy day fund” is apparently two dead moths and a bent washer at this point.

  2. McG »

    3 April 2017 · 3:55 pm

    After being told by a “tax professional” at one of those Walmart-lobby services that we were looking at a $46,000 tax bill, we went back to Team Green where we learned our check to the IRS would be smaller than our three-digit check to the State of Georgia.

    Even the guy at HRB almost missed an IRA contribution, without which we were over the penalty threshold (penalty: $45) for being “underwithheld.”

    Ordinarily we file online, but inheritance aftermaths defeated even my C in high school algebra.

  3. fillyjonk »

    3 April 2017 · 6:54 pm

    I used to do my own taxes but then the person who handles my (inherited) investments decided a “limited partnership” thing with an oil company would be FANTASTIC. (just before the price crash, too).

    I can’t brain K-1s.

    So now I pay someone else to.

  4. Donna B. »

    4 April 2017 · 2:13 am

    I wish those I inherited from were still alive so I could simply borrow money from them, possibly even pay it back… estate and trust tax returns are beyond me now. Twenty years ago, perhaps not. Oh, who am I kidding — talk of basis and depreciation has always given me a bad headache. Not only do I gladly pay an accountant, I take him cookies.

  5. McG »

    4 April 2017 · 9:22 am

    If I refer Mrs. McG to your comment, Donna, she is likely to think that’s a very good idea for the guy who did our taxes at HRB.

  6. Holly H »

    4 April 2017 · 10:11 am

    Donna, if you are having to deal with estate and trust taxes, I can see how you afford an accountant. I heard on NPR Fresh Air last night, a claim that only 1 in 70,000 Americans has to pay an estate tax, due to the threshold. Congrats!

  7. McG »

    4 April 2017 · 3:16 pm

    Mrs. McG and I were very happy we fell below that threshold, but an income tax return for the estate was still potentially an issue.

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