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April 17, 2006


Was reminded today was tax day by reading an article about pizzas selling for $10.40. I've been sort of out of the Tax Day loop since we started having an accountant prepare our taxes, and that's just fine with me; we pay an accountant so we can be out of the loop (well, I can be out of the loop; Krissy, aka "the competent one" remains as loop-engaged as ever). And our accountant, bless her heart, sent over all the forms and etc weeks ago.

Overall, it was not a bad tax year for us. We ended up in the hole by a not-entirely-trivial amount, but that amount was also less than I expected (I made a bit more in 2005 than 2004, so I figured on a larger tax bite) so overall I was pretty happy. I am once again reminded that one of the nice things about being a reviewer and commentator, and someone who works from home, is that so much of my life ends up being tax-deductible. That includes this here Web site, since it's directly connected to my writing business, and because it is a source of income for me (those occasional reprints of the Whatever, not to mention selling Agent to the Stars to a publisher last year). Hooray for teh Intarweebs!

How's your tax day going?

Posted by john at April 17, 2006 04:35 PM

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Kevin | April 17, 2006 04:43 PM

Thanks to poor fiscal powers that require me to use the Federal Government as a low interest savings account, along with GW's tax cuts to pay for the war, I managed to buy a D70S and a couple of lenses with my tax money. Of course I went into the hole buying a new iMac to process the images on but see the top of this message.

Kevin Q | April 17, 2006 05:02 PM

On a completely unrelated note:

John, I was over at your By The Way, and a recent post reminded me of a conversation I had this weekend. You posted about the article of "Ten Things You Should Know About Science," or whatever it was called. One of the questions was, "Why are there 24 hours in a day, and 365 days in a year." The answer they gave was "Because that's how long it takes the earth to rotate, and to revolve around the sun."

But that doesn't answer the question of "Why are there 24 hours in a day?" Why 24? Who decided to split a day into 24 sections, each with 60 subsections, and each of those having 60 further subsections?

I apologize for the threadjack, but I was curious, and I figured if anybody knew that, then you would.

On topic, however, I filed my taxes about 2 months ago, and my tax refund has already completely gone into car payments.


John Scalzi | April 17, 2006 05:17 PM

Kevin Q:

"Who decided to split a day into 24 sections, each with 60 subsections, and each of those having 60 further subsections?"

Pretty sure it was the Babylonians.

Jas | April 17, 2006 05:27 PM

We robbed Peter to pay Paul, or in this case, the Feds and the State to pay the County. Our combined tax refunds from both neatly paid our property taxes on the house. Leaving the money we'd put aside for that, to pay for my wife's continuing education.

Gabe | April 17, 2006 05:45 PM

I did my taxes months ago and, as usual, got a nice refund. One of the very few tangible benefits of having three kids.

Mary | April 17, 2006 06:17 PM

I've got three B-days to deal with in three weeks time, plus Easter, during tax season. The not-too-shabby check has come and gone. All I did was blink. Kids will do that to you.

Greg | April 17, 2006 09:22 PM

My employer sets their withholdings ridiculously high, so I offered the Feds and my state gov't large, interest free loans.

When those fine fellows get around to repaying the loans, I'll just add it to my 'buy a house' fund and invest it.

Scott | April 17, 2006 09:38 PM

My tax day was several weeks ago, and it stunk.

I owed a significant pile of money to the combination of my two income-tax taking governments (state & federal). The total was right around the amount I get in one of my 26/anum pay-checks. Partially because I changed jobs in the middle of the year (and the last accounting company doesn't know about the first accounting company, and starts counting how much I've earned from 0) and partially because that damn economy recovered this year and somehow the odds and ends I have sacked away as savings posted earnings and growths which I had to pay for.

I do those things early because I'm nervous about my tendency to forget about, or misplace things that I've procrastinated, and the penalties on that sort of thing would be even more annoying than the taxes themselves.

Yes, I know, hypothetically underwithholding is better for me financially, because I'd rather earn interest on my money than give it away prematurely, but I didn't earn enough interest on that underwithholding to take the sting out of writing those big checks.

Byron | April 17, 2006 09:57 PM

It was fine. My income is more-or-less fixed (being a grad student. Its exactly like being retired. Except more of work).

Kevin Q | April 17, 2006 09:59 PM

Thanks, John.


Anonymous | April 17, 2006 10:06 PM

Had to write the gubmit a check for $3000. Wonder how long that lasts in Iraq? 1/100th of a second? 1/1000th?

Mike B | April 17, 2006 10:09 PM

Things being a little different up here in Canada, I filed online in February and am already spending my refund. Lucky me - didn't make the hole in my pocket feel any better. Still, at least I'm not _directly_ funding any wars at the moment...

Anonymous | April 17, 2006 10:53 PM

Taking 30 $100 bills and burning them, one after the other, would have been more a satisfying and productive use of the money.

Anonymous | April 17, 2006 11:10 PM

I owed $8 this year, which kind of sucks considering last year I had a refund come my way that had my parents' jaws on the table.

Soni | April 18, 2006 03:26 AM

Due to us doing far better this year than last, and my own laziness at not spotting this trend earlier and boosting our ES payments, what we paid last year would be a reasonable tip on this year's bill.


In any case, moving halfway through this year, and the resultant decline in income, should fix that whole "too much income" problem nicely. The good news is that with luck I can get pre-employed and then take the moving expenses as relocation costs.

Clearmoon | April 20, 2006 11:20 PM

Due to some unexplained anomaly, we went from our normal fairly-standard ~$3K refund, to owing about $1600 to the Feds.

That was the first run.

Thankfully, my wife is an accountant. After some deft manipulation of some grey areas of the tax code, the Feds now owe us about $100.

Thank god. I've paid enough throughout the year to help bail out people who gladly take my handouts, then try to paint ME as the badguy.

Sadly, I'm talking about the people in New Orleans, not Iraq.

Therese Norén | April 23, 2006 10:46 AM

It took me ten minutes to check that the pre-printed numbers on the form matched the ones I had on my statements, and the only reason it took that long was that the tax deduction for our mortgage was 21% for me and 30% for my husband. One of the bad things about being a student and only having summer income.

It took us another ten minutes each to file online, but that was because we needed to install the electronic ID first, and then change the numbers to let him have all the deduction.

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