April 17, 2006

Taxes suck

Two sure things in life - death, and taxes. They both suck. But at least death is a one-shot deal. With taxes, it's constant. Think about it. You pay taxes on every paycheck. You pay taxes every time you buy something. And, if you're like me, you pay taxes every April 15 (or close to it).

Let me explain why I don't get a refund. It's because I don't want to let Uncle Sam have a year-long interest free loan from me. I'd rather have it the other way around. People see a refund check as a good thing - and, yes, getting money is a good thing. But what most people don't understand is, it is *their money*. They earned it all last year, and they are only getting it now.

I don't know about you, but I'd be pretty ticked off if my job held oe my paychecks a few weeks - much less a whole year. But that's exactly what the IRS is doing when you get a refund. They are taking money out of your check each week (or every other week, or month, or however often you get paid) - and not giving it to you sometime after the first of the year, when you fill out a huge form just to ask for it back.

The IRS is holding hundreds of your hard earned dollars, interest free, for up to a year. And you are happy about it? I'm confused.

"But Chad," you say, "it's like a savings account. They take a little out each paycheck, and I get it all back in one lump sum. If I had had it last year, I would have spent it all by now. This way, it's like a bonus that I pay myself."

Okay, so you have control issues, impulsive spending habits, and you obviously have no concept of how a "Savings account" works.

A savings account is when you give money to a bank or financial institution for them to use as they see fit, (giving out loans, making investments, beautifying the office, paying bills, whatever). In exchange for the use of your money - the bank pays you a certain percentage each month. Therefore, when you take the money out of the savings account, you have *more* than you put into it. A savings account is a loan that you give the bank. The point is to get more out than you put in.

This is never the case with the IRS. They take your money each paycheck, spend it as they see fit (and the government sucks at spending money), and then, after using your cash for a year - they give you the same amount back - or less - and only after you go through a lot of work to prove its yours. You can't make money this way.

Some people do get more money from the IRS than they put in, thanks to incentives, earned income tax credits, dependents, whatever. But it has nothing to do with how much they put it. They wouldn't get more of a bonus if they had $50 more withheld each month. They'd get that $600 back - but they wouldn't get $650 or $700. They'd just get back what they put in.

I hope that makes sense to you.

Anyway, I have to pay my taxes today. Which is fine. I got to use the government's money last year. Now I have to pay them back. Interest free.

God bless America. See you in line at the post office!

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