Sunday, April 6, 2008
I finally finished my taxes this year. I'm usually not a procrastinator, but this year it was really hard for me to get to them. Between the new job and traveling back and forth to Seattle, I just haven't had a lot of free weekends to sit down and do my taxes.
So I finally did it and I got some money back. Unlike most people, this doesn't excite me. It actually upsets me to some degree since the government held my money for most of the year and has graciously decided to give me back money they should have never had. This time of year also reminds me just how much in taxes I pay. It's a lot. Since I am without kids and a house, I'm of course a second class citizen in the eyes of the government, so my deductions are few and far between. It's one of the many reasons I hate our tax code. It's a reason I would have considered voting for Huckabee despite the fact he is way too far right when it comes to social issues. I would love to see the fair tax go into place because there are so many problems with the current tax code.
I compare my experiences with California and Washington. I lived in California for 14 days this past year so I had to file a tax return. I lived in Washington for 351 days and didn't have to do squat because Washington doesn't have an income tax. I didn't have to worry about deductions, credits, or an Alternative Minimum Tax. I just blissfully ignored the fact that I lived in Washington when tax time came around.
Taxing income is just so inherently difficult. So many different definitions of what is and what is not income. It is ludicrous to me that my girlfriend, who received some land from her mother this year, actually has to hire someone to look into the tax implications of receiving said gift. All we need are property, customs, and a retail sales tax. Nice and simple and something that would greatly simplify the tax code. It would broaden the base, simplify everyone's life, and in fact probably cost people less in taxes than any alternative. Throw in the fact that you would be able to almost eliminate the IRS, tax audits, and an entire industry that is created just for compliance to the income tax code, and you have icing to go on top of that cake.
Taxing income is also pretty damn sneaky. Don't believe me? Why do you think people get excited about getting tax returns. The government has trained people to think that you are getting something good. People just don't realize how much the government is taking from them throughout the year. That's why, when they get their rebate check, they are so excited. How sick is it that the government took this money from you, interest free, and then returned a small portion of it back to you because they took to much, and people feel excited about this.