/> a mother's heart » Blog Archive » thinking about taxes

…and I’m turning myself inside out by so-doing.  Urg.

When we were in Michigan, we were in a lower tax bracket than we are now (by one level, but still).  We kept our deductions the same from when Mark filled out the W-4 after Brendan was born and it worked out okay.  We always got a sizable refund from the Feds, but we figured the majority of that was probably from owning our home.  But maybe not.  Yes, I know the “responsible way” to work taxes is to OWE them on April 15, but I’ve never been able to have the stars and planets aligned at just the right spots in the sky at the same time I’m trying to figure out how many deductions to take on a W-4.  I don’t have that kind of luck.  And honestly, before Turbo Tax became my annual accountant, I would literally utter the words, “Thank God for people who groove on doing taxes.  Because they make me want to cry in frustration…”  So I’ve never really had a head for this stuff.

But now we’re seeing close to $1000 per month go out in taxes and it’s making me want to figure this out – at least a little bit more than I have previously.  Seriously – do the math.  $12,000 per year for federal taxes?  ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME?  That is patently insane and a ridiculous amount of taxes for a family of three on a middle-class income to pay.  So I think we’re going to up our W-4 deductions (we were scared and took one or two less than what was recommended) and I think we’re going to see where that leaves us.

I was relating this to my mom yesterday on the phone and said, “Even if our tax burden ends up being $2-3K per year, I don’t want a ginormous check back in April.  I want to be able to use that overage during the year when we actually need it!”  And that is what sent me in to a bit of a tailspin – trying to figure in my head what taxes might look like and figuring we’d have a handsome chunk to throw in to savings every month – for a future home purchase and for general purposes.  When I saw what our first “full paycheck” looked like and how much the federal taxes took out, I was a bit horrified.  Okay, more than just a bit horrified – I was quite ticked off.

Now I understand that we don’t have a home here to deduct, but we do have charitable giving and the child that God gave us.  We have retirement contributions, insurance expenses, and prescription expenses (the latter of which turns out is an out-of-pocket expense – completely – we WILL be examining our other insurance options in the next few months).  Plus, we are married, filing-jointly, so there is a certain amount of deduction there that lowers our taxable income.  So why is this so danged hard to figure out?  I have a Master’s degree (albeit not in finance or calculus, which is apparently what’s necessary to decipher this).  I’m not a mental slouch.

Taxes are a necessary thing to keep our society up and running – but as Jesus once said, “Render to Caesar that which is Caesar’s…” and an accountant-friend added, “…and not a damned penny more!”

So here’s to figuring this out – anyone wanna chime in with suggestions?  :)

Related Posts with Thumbnails
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.