Tag Archives: random musings

Musings on a tax season

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This tax season is officially done as of today! Well, okay, I guess you could say it still has until October 15, but we’ll focus on today’s deadline instead.

Perhaps the biggest thing that baffles me through tax season is the constant question, “What can I do to pay less in taxes?” The easy answer? Make less money. But no one really wants to hear THAT, right? Ultimately, the answer is complicated and with all things tax related, it is an individual case basis.

I repeat. Everything is a case-by-case basis. Just because Bob did x and didn’t owe money doesn’t mean doing x netted the same for Jane.

Every. Single. Return. Is. Different.

But. A few simple ideas to save on paying taxes…

– You can have more deductions, which, if you think about it, it means spending more of your money. (Wait… I thought I was trying to save money.)

– You can have less being paid to you without taxes being taken out before its even given to you. As in, get paid by W-2 instead of 1099. Though, you do realize, you’re still paying taxes. Its just not in the form of a check when you file your return.

– How about I just don’t report this income? Okay. Well, you better not try to show that income to buy a house or a car or whatever, because that’ll throw up a nice red flag when the numbers you filed and the numbers you gave on the application don’t match. And God forbid the person who paid you that money gets audited… because chances are they’ll paper trail it right back to you. At that point? Well, at that point they find out and you owe penalty, interest, and you’ve gotten the headache of an audit. Do people get away with not reporting income? Sure. Would I recommend trying that? Never.

– You can just make less money. But, frankly, I’d rather make $100, pay out $20 and still have $80. Instead of making $50, paying out $10, and still having only $40. Yup, I really stuck it to the government there. I also screwed myself.

Ultimately, taxes are a fact of life. And as much as I am sure people grumble that their tax dollars are helping fund that deadbeat down the street who lives on unemployment… realize its tax dollars that also fund keeping our road systems going, pay for emergency personnel, and help individuals after tragedies like tornadoes, hurricanes, mass fires, etc.

I am blatantly stealing this from IRS Publication “Why Do I Have to Pay Taxes?

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Oh yeah. Tax dollars also help pay for our military.  There’s that little fun fact, too.

So any time I hear someone say, “How can I pay less taxes?” it, frankly, burns me. You made money. Chances are, you made GOOD money. Pay your taxes and move on… you’ll spend more money and time trying to avoid paying taxes than you would if you just paid it and went on…

This tax season has been rough, with a good portion of that stress due to the Healthcare Act. Here. Let me just be blunt on this. This is MY PERSONAL OPINION and does not reflect on anyone but me.

I think the healthcare act, at heart, is good. But I disagree with forcing Americans to have insurance. I think its a serious over reaching of the government to mandate that. Beyond that, I think its absolutely ridiculous to have the IRS regulate this. Its made the tax code and tax filing 8000% more stressful. And that is, in my opinion, stupid.

So. There you have it. I said it. Healthcare Act, fine. Making it a law to have insurance, though, is bullsh–.

But, here we are. April 15th. We did it. We survived. Still a lot of returns to be filed, but those all have extensions filed. It feels good to get here… time to start the next phase of 2015

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Five on Friday :: Feb. 13, 2015

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Oh hey, hey, its Friday the 13th!  Let the fun begin…

1. I made these this week for Valentine’s day:

redvelvetcookiesThey were amazing. Oreo Red Velvet Cookies, dipped in vanilla goodness, with red and pink lip candies. Oh my gosh, so good.

2. I made these for National Pizza Day:

pizzas'I used Portobello Mushroom caps instead of dough. Scrape out the gills and snap off whats left of the stem. Then just used pizza sauce and layered in yummies — this time just pepperoni, olives and mozzarella cheese — and baked at 375* for 15 minutes.

3. I discovered Vivian Maier yesterday… this woman’s amazing photography reminded me what I love about photography. I’ve gotten sucked into focusing on making money doing it. I’ve forgotten what its like to just go take pictures in normal every day life.  I miss it. I need to get back to that.

4. I’m flying back to Nashville tomorrow for Valentine’s Day. It’ll be the first one I’ve spent with my husband in a few years! But I’ve jam packed into the time I am home a LOT of stuff. A big thing is making sure this benefit goes off without a hitch:

Drenon Benefit

I can’t wait for this night of love and support for dear friends.

5. Last Sunday, I got together with two women who mean more to me than I could ever tell them. PicMonkey Collage

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Have a great week, everyone!

Five on Friday :: Feb. 6, 2015

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It’s been a long time since I did Five on Friday, because I felt a self-imposed pressure to always have a theme. But for 2015, any Five on Friday will be free-form with no promise of it having any sort of theme or point outside of whatever is on my brain on that given day. So without further adieu…

1. I became reacquainted with a love of mine this week. The power of the blogging world. My focus on blogging has diminished over the last few years. I guess you could say “life happened.” Life is still happening, but I feel like I need to make more time in said life for the blog world. It’s served me well over time, introducing me to amazing people that I admire and learn from almost daily. The #WomensLives initiative has made me many, many new people to get to know. And I CAN’T WAIT to do so. We can learn from each other — and I’m embracing this opportunity to expand my world, and I hope maybe I can teach others as well.

2. My brain is almost always on some level thinking about our opening a bar. I’m overwhelmed by all the questions that must be answered before I can even call a bar my own. I learn (again) something new every day about this endeavor. Sometimes I don’t like the answers to the questions we have, but I am ALWAYS better off knowing the answers and dealing with them than I was not knowing. It’s going slower than I hoped it would… and yet in other areas its going faster than I was braced to go. But here we go kids… we’re doing this!

3. I feel like I owe a lot of friends apologies for being preoccupied with my own life lately. I strive to be a good friend and truly want to know whats going on in my friends’ lives. They are all so important to me, and I want to be there for all of them. And lately… lately  I’ve not done so well with that. And for that I do apologize and will try my best to do better.

4. Just yesterday, I decided on one word I would use to describe myself at this time: Versatile.

5. I gave myself a silent goal this month to make February fitness fabulous. So far, I’m doing pretty good, I think! What spurred this? Oh, just putting the 7 pounds I lost in September back on since the bar closed. I knew it was going to happen, but I still reached for pecan pie for breakfast, and figured one more beer in the evening was okay. But February 1st hit, and I just went, “Okay, time to fix this.” I’m consciously trying to keep my step count up (for me!) using my Fitbit, and I am back to tracking my food. Here’s to being fabulously me just for me!