4/8/15

Taxes . . .

The first time I had to do "my own" taxes was 1998. I was 22. I had certainly worked before then (I got my first job as a 16-year-old kid running the "Handicraft" area of my Boy Scout camp (that's right - I taught basketry, woodcarving, leathercraft, and metalcraft for two summers)) but my parents would always do my taxes for me (I feel like they really just laughed at my W-2s and kept on claiming me as a dependent) but 1998 was the year I really became empowered to be my own person.

So it is early February 1999 (so really 1999 was the first time I had to do my own taxes but it was the 1998 filing so . . . I don't know . . . what year is it now?) and the World Wide Web was new and wonderful and exciting and I used H&R Block and a nearly-maxed-out credit card to file all two of my tax documents and when the site told me I was getting a few hundred back from DC and a few hundred from the federal government, I freaked. And hired someone to do my taxes for me. It seemed too good to be true - yet the eventual filing (which I paid another $100 (plus filing fees, etc.)) was the same exact amount of refunds from both layers of "The Man".

So - fast forward 16 years and it is 2015 and I STILL have yet to do and file my own taxes.

I don't know why I still pay someone. The sites/apps/software has become so powerful and intuitive that it practically does it for you and I don't exactly have a complicated tax life (a W2, some student loan interest, a few non-profit and charitable donations, some child-care expenses, etc.) but I still pay someone to do it?

WHY? (I'm so glad you finally asked.) Because I like the simple protection of knowing that for $150 or so - I have some protection from liability if I lie about how many bags of clothing I donated to the DAV or if I accidentally forget to acknowledge my W2 altogether. I truly believe that taxes, like oncology, are best left to professionals who are dedicated and capable and experienced and licensed and insured.

Anywho - I'll find out later today what my "fate" is (happy thoughts on refunds - The Sean has a very small, very important, very important purchase he's saving away for).