Sunday, March 30, 2014

It's Tax Time!

I prepared my income taxes this weekend. Every year I think: "Taxes should not be this confusing -- and why do we tax income rather than consumption, anyway?"* 

At least this year I join the ranks of millions who will be getting a refund check from the government rather than writing a check to the government. That should make me happy, right? 

WRONG! Getting a refund check when you've had wages withheld is a BAD THING. It means the government held more of your money as collateral for your taxes than you even owed! And held it without interest. Granted, interest is at historic lows, so it doesn't really matter that much this year, but still; it's the principle of the thing!

* If you are looking for a great read about taxes, I recommend Taxing Ourselves: A Citizen's Guide to the Debate over Taxes by Slemrod and Bakija. Actually, this one is just a great read, period.

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