Tag Archives: taxes

Oh where oh where has my little blog gone?

Oh where oh where can it be? Yeah, this happens now and again to me, doesn’t it? I always intend to have a blog entry at least once a week. Most of the time I do just fine…but sometimes things come along and really knock me off track.

Usually it’s a combination of things that just stack up; grading student writing, my own writing, family obligations (I’ve never liked the term—I may be “obligated,” but I actually enjoy spending time and doing things with my family!), and that sort of thing.

Recently it was all these things…plus taxes.

Ugh. Yes. Taxes.

This year, while doing my taxes the week they were due (yes, I waited too long), I learned that I can no longer claim my daughter…who I feed, house, shelter and care for. The reason? She’s twenty-one, made more than four thousand dollars last year, and is no longer a student. Thus, even though I do supply her shelter, her food, and her health care, she had to file taxes on her own and I could no longer claim her as a dependent (all my pals with young kids, take note! It’s coming to you, too!).

And here’s the kicker: Her first time filing she had to PAY taxes. I don’t mean that as in she should get out of paying, but that she owed tax when she filed her return! It would be unbecoming of me as a father to talk about how much money she actually made last year, but I assure you, it was far below the Federal poverty level.

The reason she had to pay was that she made some of her money last year working on indy films—which is a good thing! It’s on the path to do what she really wants to do.

Part of this is just me being frustrated as a dad and not knowing this. Anyone who does much freelance work, or non-employee compensation, knows that you’ve still got to pay taxes on that money. Had I realized it, I’d have suggested that she pay estimated taxes—which is really what got her; the fact that she paid in too little based on what she brought in. I simply thought because I was still covering most of the bills that we could do this until she turned 25.

Nope. Not so.

Lesson learned.

The good news is that I’ve already started on my blogs for the next two weeks. Both of them will be about two new projects that are in the works (which is something else that’s kept me away from here!); one with a couple of established pros that just makes me giddy to think about, the other with a newcomer that’s really going to impress you (and I’ll be hitting y’all up for our kickstarter soon). I really think you’re going to like them both!

 

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April 15: Time for a Tea Party!

Today is tax day and my returns should have arrived with the governments (that would be Fed and State) by now, if just barely. But today is also “Tea Party Day,” a day chosen purposely for Americans to get together and voice their displeasure over the idiocy reigning in the current White House.

More on that in a minute.

It was a little harder for me to calculate my taxes this year because I had a decent little amount from my writing and editing work with Elfin/Campfire. I’d never been paid from a “foreign” publisher before and Turbo-tax kept sending me in circles because I knew how much I received, but I didn’t receive a form from them. After hours and hours, though, I finally figured it out. I will say, it was a nice problem to have.

But I’m anxious to see how this “Tea Party Day” will work out. I’ve said before that I don’t think the U.S. has anyone of the caliber of the Founders or even the Southern Secessionists alive today. If you really stop and think about it, both groups were really bucking the system, taking a huge chance, but doing it because they really believed in it. George Washington, T. Jefferson and crew had to be a little nutso to take on the biggest nation (at that time) in the world who also happened to have the biggest military. What were they thinking?

They were thinking they were fed up with unfair taxes, that’s what. They’d come to the “new world” to try to make a better life, same as most of us try to do today. Taxes got out of hand, among other things, so they held the Boston Tea Party (nobody got hurt), seceded from the British Empire and formed thirteen new states.

Happened again then, not quite 100 years later. Again, it was all about money. Southerners got tired of it, seceded (nobody got hurt) and formed a new union. U.S. President didn’t like that though (pride and pocketbook got hurt) so he sent his armies to force the Southern state to return.

Maybe it’s just that we’ve not reached that breaking point that happened both those times? But I’m less inclined to believe that than I am we simply have no leaders with guts…or courage to stand up to the injustices being done.

But wait! Hot off the presses is a release about the great state of Texas threatening secession! Governor Rick Perry of Texas encourages all states to return to the Founder’s idea of states rights and that the Federal Government has become oppressive.

Wow!

I want to move to Texas!

Meanwhile…I’ll go have a Tea Party at my courthouse today…I encourage you to do the same…at least until our states find someone with the courage of Rick Perry!

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Death and taxes

We’ve often heard it said that there is nothing certain in life but death and taxes, and with tax time coming around, we’re really thinking about them. But I’ve always thought that was kinda morbid. It’s a saying that Americans are fond of…and it may be true, but it’s a bit morbid.

To Christians—and really, to people of many faiths, “death” isn’t really death in the sense that it’s the end of the line. When we think of death we think of it as the end of the line—the final stop. Yet many faiths tell you that death just means it’s time to change buses, or transfer from the grey line to the white line…or from the gray line to the red line; depending on which direction you’re headed.

Of course, now we’ve got various 32-flavors religions telling us that there really is no Hell, that God—well, the god of 32 flavors—won’t send anyone there. When I reach the “end” of the line, I’ll wave to them from my white line bus.

The other certainty is taxes, and man don’t we love to grumble about taxes. I don’t know that anyone’s ever done any research on grumbling, but I’d bet grumbling about taxes would rank #1 in the U.S.

We’re fortunate to live in a country that allows us the opportunity to grumble (for now anyway). Some countries simply tell you to pay your taxes and like it. They’d tell you to be thankful the government allows you to keep any of your money. Of course, if we allow the behemoth that our government has become to continue, that’s what’s gonna happen to us. It would reverse the way this country was intended to be. I could chase that rabbit, but I won’t do it today.

If we really look at it, though, to an extent the same is true here—the government telling us to pay our taxes and like it, I mean. Don’t believe me? Try NOT paying your taxes.

A long time ago, you could not pay your taxes and get the attention of the king. Today, you don’t pay your taxes, you get Ruby Ridge.

Most of us don’t mind paying taxes—and I realize that I’ve just tried to speak for you, but that’s what happens with generalities. While I’d certainly prefer to hang on to more of the very little money that I earn, I don’t mind paying taxes as they were intended back 200 plus years ago—provide for the common defense and for internal transportation systems. What I do mind, is seeing my tax dollars go to support discriminating organizations like the ACLU, Planned Parenthood (an abortion provider), the CDC (which spent 1.7 million on a Hollywood liaison program, a program run by former employees), and even lobbying (how’s that for irony? Many states pay to lobby themselves!).

Our tax monster is so big that it’s getting out of control.

I think (you knew I had a solution coming, didn’t you?) we should be given a big checklist at tax time (yeah, I know, more paperwork) that allows us to check where we want our tax money spent. Don’t want the ACLU (American Communists, I call them) getting any of your tax money? Don’t check their box!

This could solve all the political arguing about what to spend where. Lawmakers would know how much money they have for each section, and taxpayers would know that their tax money is being spent the way they choose. Hey, they already have something on the tax returns about donating to the Presidential race. Picking where we want our tax dollars to be spent is just a natural progression.

But not one that we’re likely to see happen. Gives us too much say!

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