Sunday, April 15, 2007


Tax Day 2007

Officially, the deadline for filing income taxes this year is April 17, but I went ahead and finished today. That's two whole days before the deadline—I almost feel like a responsible adult.

I consider myself lucky that, for the first few years of my career, I was able to file the 1040EZ form (which I did during my lunch break every April 15), and by the time I started making too much money to use that form, tools like TurboTax were available to make the process relatively painless. I can't imagine what it must have been like to do taxes before the days of electronic preparation and filing. I vaguely remember a few weekends when my parents had tax forms spread across all the horizontal surfaces in our home.

This year, it was easy, because I don't have a house or other investments, I don't have any dependents, and I didn't have any income other than employment, so I could just take the standard deduction and keep hitting TurboTax's "Next" button until it told me I was finished. Next year, things will get more complicated, since I'll have to handle both personal and corporate taxes, so I suspect it will take more than an hour.

I wish QuickBooks was as easy to use as TurboTax.

An aside: among gun people, April 15 is sometimes known as "National Buy-a-Gun Day." The idea is that you use your tax refund to add to your gun collection in celebration of our Second Amendment rights. I don't plan to buy another gun myself, but plenty of other people like to rationalize their obsessive gun-buying.

I'm not doing anything special with my $2,000 refund. I'll splurge whenever my deadbeat clients start paying me.

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