Tuesday, February 03, 2009

It's tax time again...

I got my last piece of financial info for my taxes in the mail yesterday. So, I decided instead of putting it off...to just log on and go ahead and do my taxes. I have the easiest return ever to do. It's about as basic a return as you can get. I have W-2s, interest from my savings account and then interest I paid on my student loans. I used to itemize things like charitable donations and money I spent on medical and dental appointments, but it was never more than the standard deduction, so I just stopped even bothering. I don't own a house or a business or anything complicated like that. I have a little retirement, but not really enough to matter.

So, my return is as easy as pie. In the past few years, I have had to have extra money taken out in order to not have to pay taxes. For years, I worked at a local video store and because they paid bimonthly instead of every other week, they didn't have to take as much taxes out. The never took a cent of state taxes out. That would have been fine if that was my only job, but since it was job #2...it was something I needed to plan for or I was going to owe taxes. And last year, I used my Americorps award money to pay off some of my loans. That's great...except for that Uncle Sam considers it taxable income, so I needed to prepare for that as well or I would end of paying taxes.

This year...no problems or kinks in the works. I logged on, entered my info and sent off both my federal and state taxes. I am getting a pretty sizeable return (over a $1000) for federal...at least for me. My state return was less, but it was still a few hundred dollars. I need to change some of my deductions so it isn't so large next time since I don't mind the return per se, but the idea of giving the government a big, fat, interest free loan is not something I want to do.

Of course, I am doing nothing fun or exciting with my tax return when it magically get deposited into my account. I usually either put it right to my student loans or right into my savings account. This year...probably student loans since I am getting closer to paying those suckers off with each passing month. For a second I considered being impulsive and buying myself a flat screen TV, but that's just silly...since I have a TV (not a nice flat screen one, but none the less) and therefore I don't need to be throwing the $$$ out the window.

So, have you done your taxes yet or do you wait until April 14th like most of America???