Updated for 2020 and beyond.
If you are like me and millions of other screwed Americans, you owe taxes by April 15. I used to think that it was always better to owe taxes each year, but that was when the 10-year yield and CDs were providing a healthy 4% annual return.
Nowadays, you’re lucky to get a 2% return on either instrument. We won’t even talk about the average money market savings rates at 0.1-0.2%. As a result of such low risk-free opportunity costs, I’ve been an advocate of folks getting a small tax refund since 2009 when the world was ending.
After doing my own taxes for the 16th time this year and always getting a small refund, I will finally be sending in a check for a vomit inducing five figure amount on top of an already six figure amount in taxes paid for 2012. So what happened that caused me to make such an erroneous calculation since I should be an expert at doing my own taxes by now? I didn’t make a mistake. Instead, the government and the voters of California got me.