Tax Time

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1 April 2011

April is going to be an especially busy month.  As such, you’d think it might be an opportune time to finally enlist an accountant to do my taxes.  But no, nothin’ doin’.  I don’t know what it is – it’s not that I enjoy it.  But I do find it interesting to shuffle through receipts, and bank and credit card statements, and walk down memory lane a bit.  You confront that uncomfortable sense that you are what you spend.

Maybe there’s also something comforting there, something concrete, in the midst of a life that can sometimes start to get away from you and feel a bit out-of body.  I spend, therefore I am.  I think another reason I like seeing where it all went is that it gives me a tangible way of considering change and improvement for the coming year.

I’m also I suppose an honesty geek when it comes to paying taxes.  I don’t want someone (an accountant) to tell me “what I can get away with.”  I want to deduct what’s actually deductible, what’s actually “business-related.”  I want to make those decisions on my own.  What really happened during that $60 lunch date?  How much of that Amazon purchase am I using for “work”?  It’s not unlikely that for my entire working life I’ve been grossly over-paying in taxes.  On the other hand, when you don’t make much, how much could you possibly overpay?  As long as Mr. Obama is in office, I’ll pay my share; not exactly gladly, but willingly.

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