I e-filed my taxes today. I know a tax story should probably wait until April, but you don’t wait until April unless you owe taxes. If you’re getting a refund, however small, you get that done on February 1, or as quickly thereafter as you can.
It only takes 8-14 days with e-filing and direct deposit to get that refund, however small. And you’ve probably had plans for it for months. Some of you will carpet the living room, or use it for a down payment on a new car, or get that new recliner, or big screen TV, or whatever new electronics item you’ve been wanting, with that refund. If you’re a Verizon customer, you were probably in line the other day to buy that new iPhone 4. Me, I’ll probably be able to get me a six pack of imported beer with my refund.
In 1862 the Congress enacted the first income tax law to pay for the Civil War. The Act of 1862 established the office of Commissioner of Internal Revenue, nothing has been the same since. In 1913 the 16th Amendment to the Constitution made the federal income tax a permanent fixture, and they’ve been extracting money from us ever since. And for the last 98 years tax laws have been written with the required loopholes to ensure the rich pay disproportionately less than most the rest of us.
The question I have for you taxpayers that get those huge refunds, say $5,000 or more, do you realize the Government has used your money for FREE? And not only that, if you get a big refund you can pay penalties. That’s a really overused word at the IRS (Infernal Revenue Service). There are penalties for everything. I’ve been penalized so much over my working life that I should be ejected from the game.
You feel accomplished when you finish and file your taxes. That’s done for the year, check that one off. With electronic filing software, a task that took you days or weeks, pouring over IRS Publications, is now completed in an hour tops. Even if you have capital gains tax from your diversified investment portfolio, or had several real estate transactions, or even foreign investments. Yeah, I’ve got those. My taxes were finished and filed in 30 minutes, start to finish, with a break included so I could fix me a drink.
So in a week or so, I’ll be off to the store to pick out that imported beer that I can savor knowing I didn’t have too much taken out of my checks last year. But if I look at the actual amount I paid in income tax in 2010 (That’s Twenty-Ten for you that can’t seem to get it), I’ll probably need to go out and get something with a higher alcohol content.