“Change nothing, Futures in, Close the door, Wear a name, Be the same, Take some more.”
-Jet, “Lazy Gun”
It’s always been said that there are two inevitabilities in life: death and taxes. However, both exemplify procrastination at high levels. People put off dying for years, decades, and even over a century, and every year people put off their taxes for 3 ½ months. Say you live to see that century mark and started doing your taxes at 18 years of age; how many years of procrastination does that equal?
100-18= 82 years
82×105= 8610 days
8610/365= 23.58904109589041 years of your life procrastinated on preparing taxes.
I believe we would at least like that .58904109589041 of a year back, but we must meet our civil requirements. Let’s say roughly a quarter of your life you’re doing taxes, and the other 3 quarters you’re dying. How grim; maybe Morgan Freeman should be narrating this post to make things a little easier to deal with.
Taxes are a necessity though some people choose not to believe so, yet they are somehow supported and live off the majority of other’s money. People still have trouble grasping the concept. They believe that the government is stealing their money for no purpose; only to pay salaries and stick bills and their own pockets to later stick in the g-string of a stripper. However, that’s only sometimes the case. They actually serve a much broader purpose. They fund war, law enforcement, economic infrastructure, public works and utilities, social engineering, debt, welfare and unemployment (reference 1st sentence of paragraph), protection of property, and public services such as education, health care, and public transportation. How dare they do all that to Americans!
We don’t need all that stuff, I mean, Africa looks like they’re doing pretty well.
Some hard-working individuals like to have less money taken out of their paychecks throughout the year and deal with their issues later. See the procrastination starts a whole year in advance. An extra 20 or so dollars every pay period is nice because it helps out with food, savings, and entertainment, but come tax season the individual is going to have to write a large lump-sum check to the government which seems to always balance out. The only problem being that the person hasn’t been saving that extra 20 bucks a paycheck, they spent it, and now they have to use money they don’t have to make up for what they owe. It’s a very confusing option to someone that has done little research on the topic and only has an opinion (me). However, I would rather eat for 12 months out of the year instead of say, 10.
Then there are the write-offs and the people that are convinced they are tricking the system. A write-off is any legitimate expense that can be deducted from your taxable income on your tax return (Ritchie, 2011). Realistically, there are a gazillion (not realistically) things you can write-off, but you just have to do a little research of what’s deductible and non-deductible because going through an audit could possibly be the equivalent of a colonoscopy for your financial history. For example: student loan interest, donations, and surprisingly, even a guard dog can be written-off. However, non-deductible things include political contributions, child support, and gambling losses (if you’re life is in that much disarray obviously) cannot.
Addictions can easily turn one’s finances upside down. Gambling problems must be reported to the IRS, and your local casino will surely give you a form serving as a constant reminder of how much money you wasted over the course of the year. We all have our vices, but you can compare Joe Pesci’s role in Casino to that of the IRS.
It’s better and easier just to manage your finances and follow the rules; it’s really not a big deal. You can still have your fun, still satisfy your vices, but don’t overlook your priorities; priorities as in meeting tax (not death) deadlines to avoid late charges. Yet, people still don’t care and request extensions. Again with managing your finances.
Percentage of people that miss deadline: 25% (CBS NY, 2014)
Number of people that do their own taxes: estimated 56,000,000 (H&R Block, 2014)
Money left on the table: $460 average per person (H&R Block, 2014)
Percentage of people that complain: 100%
You pay taxes and you die. There’s a lot in between if you play your cards right (not at a casino) and manage your money correctly (not at a casino). There’s no shame in asking for assistance with finding every deduction, there’s no shame in being meticulous on your own, and there’s no shame in cutting back and understanding financial limits. Be smart with your finances and you will get your money back; don’t procrastinate and you will get your life back.
Ritchie, J. (2010). Retrieved from http://blog.turbotax.intuit.com/2010/12/11/what-is-a-tax-write-off/ on April 18, 2014
H&R Block (2014). Retrieved from http://www.hrblock.com/get-your-billion-back/ on April 18, 2014
Associated Press (2014). Retrieved from http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/04/15/deadline-day-many-scrambling-to-file-last-minute-tax-returns/ on April 18, 2014