This is the first year where I actually owe money to the government and I’m not too pleased. For all intensive purposes, I should be happy that I got a free multi-thousand loan for the year, but it just feels off. Your typical personal finance blogger will argue that it’s stupid to celebrate a tax refund, but I’m telling you to go right ahead. Tax refunds are good for most people because most people can’t save for cookies!
I’m waiting until the absolute last moment to file because I constantly find errors in the way I’m doing my returns. There’s no doubt in my mind that every single tax return submitted by an individual has at least one error, or sub-optimal input. I generally go over my taxes at least three times before submitting them. It’s in my nature to double and triple check everything when it comes to money.
Doing your own taxes forces you to learn a tremendous amount about your finances. It heightens your awareness, leading to better financial decisions. You learn about things such as deduction limit phases outs, rental property amortization, and alternative minimum taxes all too well.
Once you understand how much income leakage there is, you’ll join the side which wishes for a fair flat tax and a smaller, more efficient government. Too many people just blindly follow what their accountant tells them to do without fully understanding where their money is going. That’s irresponsible. My #1 tax tip for everyone is to do your own taxes at least once. Even if you make mistakes, which you will, you’ll be a better person because if it!
Readers, how many of you do your own taxes? With tax software making things relatively simple nowadays, why not try it out on your own if you don’t now? Taxes are due Thurs, April 15th in case you don’t know.