I hate filing taxes! This task is an unhappy annual tradition for all working adults. Except for my husband, who at the moment of our marriage and the words “filing jointly,” discovered he didn’t need to worry about taxes ever again as long as I live. He will stay with me simply to avoid the mental gymnastics of filling in everyone’s social security numbers and remembering the passwords to all of our online accounts.
Why do they make it so hard to file taxes and then require me to do it?
The tax code is intentionally complicated, dense, and difficult to understand for regular people. There are so many things I want to do with my life; Filling out forms and checking tax laws are not on my bucket list. I’ve hired a CPA, used online tax preparation software, and done it myself with varying levels of success. The thought of being audited because of an innocent error can quickly throw me into an anxiety attack. No matter what, I have to gather my paperwork and sacrifice precious hours to the taxman as an obligation for living in a civilized society.
These are 10 things I would rather do than file taxes:
- Go grocery shopping with the kids.
- Talk to AT&T or Comcast customer service.
- Go to the dentist.
- Talk to my kids about sex.
- Drink after a snotty toddler.
- Fold a basket of fitted sheets.
- Walk barefoot across a room full of Legos.
- Hold a crying baby on a flight.
- Get called to jury duty.
- Teach my Dad how to use TikTok.
The date of filing taxes is usually related to the amount of tax owed.
If you’ve waited until April 15th to file, you likely owe Uncle Sam. I’m sorry. Please re-watch whatever version of Robin Hood you like best and imagine a handsome man, clad in tights, arriving on your doorstep with a bag of money. The best possible reason for delaying is laziness. Perhaps you will be rewarded for your indifference with a surprise tax return. May the odds be ever in your favor.
If you were expecting a tax refund, you checked the mail every day for your W2 starting on January 1st and filed the minute the IRS started accepting returns. Americans won a revolution over taxes. We take it very seriously. If that money doesn’t direct deposit into your account within three weeks, you have declared war against the IRS.
Regardless of your circumstances, filing taxes with no guidance is nearly impossible.
I’m an educated, mature adult and I can’t figure out anything harder than the 1040EZ. I have been reduced to tears trying to fill out a schedule C for babysitting part-time in my home. Legal Beagles agree, ff you make more than $400 babysitting, you are supposed to claim this income. Yes, even if you are their grandma, aunt, or cousin. I have owed the government money and have also received hefty returns. Most of the time, I don’t know which camp I’m going to be in and always file early with the hope that I will get money back. And like almost 75% of Americans, I usually do.
Despite my hatred for filing taxes, I love the things our taxes provide.
I am proud to live in a country where our military is strong and I feel safe. I’m happy to support orphans, widows, and veterans with our social services. I love public resources like the National Parks and Federal lands. When I get upset about the local sales tax, I remember the public library, city parks, our A-rated schools, the police department, and our firemen. All of these things are possible because I help pay for them. I’m happy to do it for the privilege of living in this country and seeing our children grow up happy, intelligent, and strong.
We’ve got it pretty good in Florida.
We don’t pay a state tax. That’s fewer forms and less trouble for all of us. I’ve lived in other states and I know the work and tax I’m avoiding by not having to file the state income tax forms. I need to focus on gratitude. I’ll try to teach my little ones that the extra few cents they pay at Target pays for the books they borrow from the library and the playgrounds they play on. We all have a responsibility to support and care for the place we call home.
Do you hate filing taxes as much as I do? Are you lucky enough to have a spouse that does your taxes for you? Are you frustrated at the complexity of our tax codes? Please let me know that I’m not alone. In return, I’ll hope that your bank accounts are ample and your bellies are full.