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Debt Help

The Debt & Personal Finance Blog and Magazine

Monday, April 16, 2007

Tax Season Is Over, Thank Goodness

Got my taxes done, finally. I feel like someone has stolen 2-3 days of my life. A complete waste of the limited and precious time I have on this planet, as usual.

As a self-employed individual, I am thankful that the tax code is very entrepreneur-friendly, but this fact doesn't make up for the reality that for most of us, tax time is both unnecessarily stressful and very unproductive. Considering the fact that the United States is the most productive country in the world by a multitude of measures, I'm surprised that serious tax reform hasn't gained any political momentum. I blame the lobbyists!

In case you didn't know, the U.S. Tax Code is the most complicated body of law in the country. But can a guy get a tax deduction for paying child support? Nope! You can get a deduction for paying alimony, but not for paying child support, because child support payments "have no tax relevance." Basically, support payments are not tax deductible because the payments are voluntary. So if you do the right thing and make payments, the tax man doesn't care: he's not going to give you a break. This policy doesn't make sense to me, especially considering all the deadbeat dads out there. Bottom line: the government should adopt policies that encourage us to be good citizens, better citizens, which is what a child support deduction would do. Is that too much to ask, Uncle Sammy?


You Like Irony? How's This for Irony...

I ended up paying $150 to prepare and e-file my federal and state taxes using the online version of a very popular tax preparation software package. I paid an extra $30 for an "audit defense" package from a related company. The irony? I blame the tax lobby for blocking the efforts of reformists, yet, by paying a hefty fee to use third-party software to file my taxes, I'm supporting a company that will, in turn, pay lawyers to hang out in Washington and spend their time convincing lawmakers that tax reform isn't needed. Makes me a bit sick to my stomach to think about it.

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