Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Not to bum you out, but you realize taxes are due soon, right?

 [photo found at the IRS website, which is quite useful]

I can honestly say I'm not bummed out at all. This is because our taxes are already done AND we're getting a refund from both the IRS and the state of Massachusetts. I was pleasantly surprised. I actually thought we might end up owing, but no, so yay us!

This is not to say that I don't have a few cogent comments to make about taxes. I do so in my column appearing in the Boston Herald, which you can find by clicking onto this red sentence fragment.

Something I did NOT mention in the column is that I've always been treated well by the IRS. In theory, I'm against most taxes, but the people I've dealt with from taxing agencies have always been pleasant and fair to me. I have an accountant do our taxes now, since they've become a bit more troublesome what with my being self-employed, but when I used to do our taxes, I twice made math mistakes and the IRS corrected the math IN MY FAVOR and didn't make a big deal out of it either time. They just sent us a bigger check, with a small note saying something like, "You made a mistake and we corrected it. Your return has been adjusted accordingly." They didn't even say "... adjusted accordingly IN YOUR FAVOR", which I think showed admirable restraint on their part.

That's about all I have to say that I didn't say in the Boston Herald, so you might as well head over there now. Thanks for stopping by!

Soon, with more (allowing for normal use and depreciation) better stuff.


joeh said...

I don't know how to simplify the tax form other than just going to a straight sales tax, or making all deductions a standard deduction. THere are so many lines on the form that in general only apply to special situations and if you fall in those categories you probably have an accountant. I'd like these lines to have a comment "If you don't know what this is, there is almost no chance it applies to you" then I could just skip those lines without fretting over them and digging into the instrux pamphlet.

Craig said...

My one and only experience of the IRS beyond the filing of my 1040 every year, was a bit perplexing. I was called in to explain some items on my return (which, the agent took great pains to be clear, was NOT an audit). When I got there, there were three of us sitting in the hall, waiting our turn to explain. It took us about 30 seconds to discover that we all had in common (a) at least six children, and (b) we all tithed, thus creating for ourselves some really large deductions. It took me the better part of two days to sort through my kids' birth certificates, collect transcripts for the one who was a full-time college student, and photocopy every single check I wrote for a charitable contribution. The agent seemed surprised when I finally managed to document every single item in question (mostly because I'm a bit of a hoarder, and didn't throw anything away that might pertain to my taxes).

It left a bit of a weird taste in my mouth, that they were so obviously targeting big families who gave a lot to their churches. . .

Suldog said...

Joe - Yes, it would help tremendously if the instructions themselves were simplified as much as possible. I love your suggestion. Of course, some people would bristle at having to admit they were ignorant. As you know, I have no problem with that.

Craig - I think it's hard for some people to believe that others can be as charitable as regular large tithes make them appear.

I remember being shocked by (get ready) a Family Feud question. If you're familiar with the show, 100 people are polled randomly and asked to give their answers to varying questions, then contestants are tasked with coming up with the answers most often given by those polled. The question this time around was, "How much do you give to charity each year?"

The two contestants each gave answers of something like $500 and $300. MY WIFE and I said $1000, figuring our own giving might be too high and opting for a somewhat lower answer.

The number one answer, as revealed by show host Steve Harvey? ZERO. I was floored.

Jimmy said...

Congrats on getting a refund, we also have ours done already and got a little back, my only experience with the IRS was several years ago, the problem was taken care of quickly and the representative was easy to get along with.

messymimi said...

It's true that a lot of people give nothing to charity, and that is sad.

What i want to see happen is taxes be simplified and the legislators not be allowed to exempt themselves from the laws they pass.

Jinksy said...

As a one time worker in the English tax system, I know how they're always kind to those who make honest mistakes! I'm happy to hear you've been treated fairly by your tax man/lady, my Blggyland pal across the water. :-)
(Political correctness rules, OK?! lol)

Daryl said...

this was Toonman's final tax year as a self employed person ... our accountant has long ref'd to his, Toonman's, business as a hobby ... and its the second year - ever - we have had to pay the Feds while receiving a refund from the State .. so i would like someone to suggest the State and Feds coordinate so that if there's refund from one and payment due to the other that they work it out between them and send me the difference ..