Tag Archives: random musings

Musings on a tax season

april15

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?

outlays

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

wpid-wp-1429127109039.jpeg

Am I an adult?

A few days ago, I had this weird realization hit me. I’m 34; I turn 35 in 8 months. (I know a lot of people just rolled their eyes at this… hang with me here.)

My 30s are going to be half over! Or maybe I should look at it that I have half my 30s left.

IMG_20150316_042233

Either way, I’m not a kid any more. Not even close. But I also find myself wondering when I’m going to have that moment of, “I’m an adult now.”

I mean, I’m married. I’ve bought a house. I’m starting a business. I’ve done a whole bunch of totally grown-up things. I think I think like an adult. I hang out with adults…

Growing up, I was always the oldest person in my group of friends. After getting married and moving to Nashville, I am now generally the YOUNGEST person in a group. So you’d think I’d feel like an adult more than ever.

But there are plenty of things I still think I’m 18 about. Like I think I can eat anything and not gain a pound. Or if I do gain weight I can drop in two days still. I think I can still just break out in a dead run and do a 400 meter dash and only be kinda winded. I think I can fall asleep in the car and not have a neck ache afterwards.   I figure I still have YEARS before things like a yearly mammogram will apply to me. I don’t have an 8-5 job that I wear dress pants and button down shirts to every day. And I don’t have everything figured out, like I used to think adults did when I was a kid.

I guess I do, though, realize my age when I don’t think about it too hard.

When bartending, I regularly looked out at college-age and clearly-fresh-out-of-college 20-somethings with a weary eye knowing that I no longer had the amount of patience I had back then for their thought processes. I gain a lot of entertainment reading teens tweets and the fact that their life is bound to end because someone broke up with them. (I also spend more time than I’ll admit Googling what they say so I can understand.)

I find myself very thankful social media didn’t exist when I was 16.

I went out with my friends on Saturday night, and we ended up having long conversations about health. People we know with cancer was one long part of the conversation, and afterwards I commented how we used to talk about guys that in depth.

We spoke of loss. We talked jobs, traffic and keeping our homes. we talked about how much things cost. We talked babies, and dreams.

It’s natural. It’s where we are in life…

IMG_20150316_040827_1

Perhaps I am over analytically thinking. In fact I know I am. And perhaps this is some weird midlife crisis in which I go through this weird denial that time is passing faster than I like to admit.

I love that I’ve been married over 8 years, though it doesn’t FEEL that long until I look back at all we’ve already been through together. Sometimes I think I should have myself together a lot more by now. Other times I know there are many, many years still to come and we’re always growing and learning.

It’s just going to keep getting better.

IMG_20150316_044443None of us ever have it all figured out. That’s just part of life. Just like getting older. We learn to adjust and figure it out as we go… and I suppose its with that realization that I know I AM an adult.

 

Five on Friday :: Feb. 13, 2015

fiveonfriday2015

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

 Camera@Low

Have a great week, everyone!