Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Death and Taxes

Someone once said that the only two things that are inevitable are death and taxes.  And the IRS is making death by taxes look more and more like a possibility.  Milady and I aren't rich by any means.  She's a nurse and I'm a cop.  I retired from the state, and now I work as a parish deputy.  She retired from a state hospital and now works in private practice.  So, we've got four piddling incomes, the kids are grown and gone, and we're feeling pretty good about ourselves.  We're not rich by any means.  We're the middle class.  Working stiffs who pay our bills, live within our means, and try to have a little fun now that we've made it into our 60s.  We don't even itemize.  Turbo-tax makes me take the standard deduction.  We're doing okay, feeling good about ourselves, and enjoying life.

Until tax time.  My God, they take a big wet, juicy bite out of my butt this time every year.  Yeah, we have withholding, the same as last year, but my "write the check" tax bite just goes up and up. The check is large enough that (without providing too many details), that I'm going to see a banker today.  No big deal, but it requires a trip to the bank.

Just to give you an idea of our total tax liability, my last full year on active duty was 1979.  We had two kids and had a car note.  I was an O-2 with three years of service.  I didn't make as much money that year as I'm paying in taxes this year.  I'm amazed, the US Government is getting back every cent.

Milady and I were discussing it last night.  We're supporting a family of four that we don't even know.

It's utter bullshit.  It's confiscation on a huge scale.  There are a lot of folks who don't pay taxes, or (in che case of the unEarned Income Credit), you may actually get more back as a refund than you actually paid in.  That's right, some folks have a net-negative tax bill.

Politicians are big about talk.  That's their stock-in-trade.  They talk about the One Percent, they talk about rebuilding the middle class.  They talk about fairness.  It's not fair at all.  If 20 cents out of every dollar I make goes to the IRS, tell me how that's fair, when some folks don't pay taxes at all.

We need a reset in this country and we'll explore the options later.  Right now, I have to go see a banker.


Anonymous said...

It's this way because they want it this way. Yes, that's my sound bite. But consider that of the 15 congresscritters I continue to contact about the specific issue of the tax code, none, zero, have responded. It's not as if I contact them out of the blue or do not allow enough time for them to respond. This is part of a running campaign I have in staying in contact with them about various issues. I have received replies, even from those I expected no reply or that their reply was more than the expected, 'Thank you for contacting me, your concern is important to me...', type bluster.

Anyway, join me in voting out the incumbent. The welfare state with all it's entitlements did not arrive on it's own nor by accident.

Joe Mama said...

"We're supporting a family of four that we don't even know."

I wonder if the sperm donor is paying as much as you are. I doubt it.

He was there. He was the one with the finger on the trigger.

And you are the one who pays the price.

That is not justice.

Jonathan H said...

I have started using a reasonable local accountant - he decreases my taxes by several times what I pay him.
I strongly suggest you itemize deductions and talk to a tax professional - it can make a difference. At this point you may have to talk to one later in the year and file an amended return, but I'm sure it will be worth it.
Unfortunately, the system appears to be designed that you can't navigate it on your own reasonably.
To me it is like the way that the justice system has gotten so complex that it is a very bad idea to try to represent yourself; it is too complicated and has too many rules - the system is the punishment.

Anonymous said...

Do what the big boys do.....make everything a company. You could put all your property into a rental company; you pay the rent and the company pays you to watch over the property.
Or how about putting all of your toys...er....teaching aids, guns, etc into a company that "instructs folks on weapons handling".
On any company you should try to show an income 3 of 5 years....so even $1 is an income.....
PS: When we had the farm LLC; I didn't "own" any clothes. The farm LLC bought all my "uniforms" that were needed for me to carry out my job!

JayNola said...

I can almost guarantee you that using turbo tax is costing you more money than a CPA would. Find a professional.

Anonymous said...

Did something change in the tax code to put off your planing for your tax bill? It's very expensive to borrow v's to save to pay a known upcoming bill.