So it's every young, single person's favorite time of the year again: Tax Time! The one season we and all our friends become momentarily flush with that forgotten thousand dollars we've already paid to Uncle Sam. So today, rather than working, I decided to do my e-file taxes.
I tried one site, and they tried to (pardon my racism) gyp me into accepting a $43 dollar refund. No thank you sir, I said. I tried another site, recommended by a friend. Again, $43??? I'm insulted, all those taxes paid and you will only return this pittance? So I cruise the IRS site itself, to figure out what the chilies is going on here.
There is no mistake. My federal tax refund this year will not even cover my phone bill. Damn. For a moment there, I actually wished that I had paid more taxes, so that I could have enjoyed this windfall. And then I stopped myself: What!?! My dad is right: we allow money to be taken from our own paychecks every two weeks, to be held INTEREST FREE by the government for up to a year. And then our W2s roll in and we all clap our hands like little monkeys, waiting for our "free money."
Not only is this money not free, it's probably depreciating as it sits there idly. The practice of employers deducting taxes from our paychecks probably started as a professional courtesy to both employees (stop doing math! enjoy your new Ford!) and the IRS (take the money before these deadbeats have a chance to spend it!), but it has since grown into the norm. So much so that I don't know what to claim on what form to get it to stop.
At my next job, I want ALL my money. I want ALL of my money in my hands, so that I can then put a third of it in my own 5% interest-bearing ING account. Then I will pay my taxes by myself, like a real-live adult. Yes, it will hurt to pay thousands and thousands of dollars in one blow...but at least all that money won't be growing moldy in Fort Knox all year long. At least I can make it work for me while I have it.