The Tax Man Cometh

March 18, 2010 at 2:29 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I love tax season.  There, I said it.  I know that many people out there don’t share in my sentiments but as of yet, I’ve never owed a cent and my tax refunds just keep getting bigger and bigger (yes, I know this is because I’m ultimately giving more to Uncle Sam, but it still feels like a bonus check that comes once a year).

As of today, I’m pretty much this girl.  I did my federal taxes for free on the Turbo Tax website last Wednesday and I had my refund in my bank account yesterday morning.  Words cannot describe how happy this made me.  It was also surprisingly easy to do my taxes online, but then again I don’t have pesky things like a husband, mortgage or kids to take into consideration.  I have yet to do my state taxes but I’m pretty sure there’s another free website out there that will help me with that.

Two years ago, I temped for a Certified Personal Accountant during tax season.  It was boring as hell, yes, but in some ways it was kind of neat.  Yes, I used the word neat to describe tax work.  I’m somewhat of a nosy person (though I prefer the term cultural observationist) and I enjoyed checking out the salaries and refunds of various individuals and certain prosperous business owners in and around Bloomington.  In utter confidentiality, of course.  I also became familiar with some of the deductions out there and well, how to file taxes in general.  I learned a lot and it made me appreciate what actually goes into filing a tax return.  Also, the CPA did my taxes for free that year so that was a nice little perk.

So now that I have my tax refund, that oh so fabulous question pops to mind – whatever will I do with this extra money?  I know lots of people put their refunds towards their homes or their children, but as I mentioned I am gloriously free of either of those things and I can spend it how I want.  Not to toot my own horn, but I think I’m rather fiscally savvy and since I manage to pay all of my bills on time each month (while also managing to save a smidgen) I feel I deserve a bit of play money.  And play I shall.

It’s not like I have such a large refund that I can start wasting it, but I will probably do what I’ve done the last few years, which is to invest it in a trip.  Last year’s refund bought me a plane ticket to New Zealand and while I don’t think I’m going to be able to swing such a big excursion this year, the majority of my refund has already been transferred to my travel account.  I know my mom, sister and I are planning something for later in the year, to celebrate my mom’s 20th year of being breast cancer free (WAY TO GO MOM!)  We’re thinking someplace tropical.  I’m also considering taking a shorter, solo trip to someplace in Canada, as I’ve never been before and it seems like fun.  I’m also open to suggestions, if you’ve got ’em!

The rest of the refund has been evenly divided among my other various savings accounts (told you I was fiscally responsible.  It borders on anal, at times).  It’s nice to have a bit of a cushion in case I need it, and it’ll be nicer still when I get another tax-refund sized check next month.  How did I manage that?  Well, next month is one of the two fantastically wonderful months in the year that I get paid three times instead of just twice.  Don’t you just love when that happens?

If you’re still freaking out about your filing and your refund seems eons away – well, I’m sorry.  Try to breathe and take it one step at a time.  I would offer my assistance but unless your taxes are as ridiculously easy as mine are, I don’t know if I’d do you much good.  I will say that Turbo Tax was super user-friendly (they didn’t pay me to promote them but perhaps they should…hear that, Turbo Tax guys?) so if you’re looking for a free online service then I’d recommend them.  Good luck no matter which filing route you take!


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