Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tax Time!

Like many people, I am anticipating a tax refund this year. But I don’t expect it to be a lot. At my part-time job, my pay was a little less last year. It’s partially based on commission and sales were off for 2010. For the amount of taxes that I do pay, sometimes I feel that I’m financing my military retirement pay.

I am a procrastinator when it comes to filing my taxes. I wait at least until April 1st, but I do file it on line. It just feels like I’m doing it at my own pace when I wait to file. I have waited until the 15th and even filed extensions, but that’s when I knew I had to pay a large sum.

I have used tax advisors in the past, but it’s hard to find one I feel like I can trust to give me good information. I’ve consolidated my investments and even my 401k is all in one location now. At one time I had four different 401ks out there from different jobs over the years.

The IRS has relaxed some over the years, but there was a time when I thought they had way too much power and no sympathy for the little guy. I was going through a divorce when I was a young buck sergeant in the 1980’s. All of a sudden I had no dependents and owed a lot of taxes for that year. I made payment arrangements with the IRS, but later that year they changed their mind and wanted it all right away. No matter who I talked to at the IRS didn’t matter, there was nothing they could do. So I decided to visit U.S. Senator Ted Stevens’s office and plead my case. His staff came through for me and my payment arrangement with the IRS was back on track. After that, I called him Uncle Ted like all of the other Alaskans. We won’t talk about what I call the IRS.

Alaska doesn’t have a state income tax or a state sales tax. The revenue from oil production takes care of that for now. I’ve lived in other states where you had to file your state return about the same time as the federal return. It felt like double dipping to me and I never felt like I got my return on my dollar.

Everyone says that Uncle Sugar needs to get his share. I like to hang on to my share as long as I can.

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