Monday, March 5, 2018

Let's Talk Taxes

It's that time of year in America where we have to do our taxes.  It's always a standing joke on my TV court shows that if someone promises to pay back a loan with their tax refund to run away very fast.  The TV ads start in January to come get a car with your refund or get cash back fast with just your W2.  It's a whole season just like Christmas. 

Our new president has decided to change the tax laws and it was pushed through so fast, that people really don't know what to expect.  I'm in the mood to chat about what I've researched and found out for me. 

I've always done my own taxes.  It's pretty easy when you use a program like H&R Block. You just enter the numbers and the program does the work for you.  Back in the day before computerized taxes, you had to do it on paper forms and it was way harder.  This year was made even easier.  The program was able to pull all the numbers for you with just your account number.  I was pleasantly surprised how much easier it was to do this year. 

I had told you on my other blog, that I joined the apps Qapital, Acorns and Stash to help me save money.  Acorns and Stash are actually apps that you buy stocks in companies you pick.  Let's just say my weed stock is in the toilet or is it funnier to say up in smoke??! LOL.  What I didn't know was, if you had stock in real estate, you would get a 1099 form in February, but you would get a corrected form mid March.  That means you either have to wait to send in your taxes, or do them but then have to submit a corrected one.  I always do my taxes in February, but not submit until closer to April as my homeowner's dues are due then and I want to make sure I have that tax money to pay my dues. 

The talk with the new tax laws is that the standard deduction would be that much higher so many people who normally itemize wouldn't need to making tax season a much less stressful time.  Plus it's easier for the government to know what's what if they don't have to check each little thing itemized to see if it's legit.  For me as a single, the deduction is $6800 or so.  My itemizations are higher than that, therefore I did itemize again this year.  Next year the new deduction will be $12, 400 or so which means next year I won't itemize as that new deduction is higher. 

Also for singles, we are now taxed at 25% of our pay, starting now, it's 22%.  So I have been getting roughly $50 back in my paycheck.  What I'm pondering is whether to have that extra money taken out again each paycheck to ensure I do get a refund again next year.  I'm used to not having it and I do struggle to save.  Although I will say I've saved with Acorns and Stash! I haven't done anything yet, am still trying to do my research.

I wonder what other countries do for their taxes.  Do you guys have to fill out forms every year?

The past two days have been windy as hell.  One thing I cannot stand in nature is wind.  It was so bad, I took down my wind chimes and there were trees down and power lost from it.  Luckily I didn't lose power.  I went outside to rake leaves and the wind was not on my side whatsoever.  After an hour and a half, I gave up and was so cold that I needed five blankets to sleep! Today I plan to rake some more as my tulips and daffodils are blooming so I want to get my yard cleaned up for mowing season.

Then I have to tackle my stone driveway again.  The weeds are taking it over as happens every Spring.  I literally wear knee pads and pick each and every weed out.  It's a two car width maybe thirty foot stone driveway so it's a lot to pick.  Then for the remainder of the season, I do maintenance by picking weeds every day I get the mail.  It's actually a chore I don't mind.  I put on my 80s headphones and dance along on my knee pads picking weeds. 

I'm sure passersby are like WTF, but I'm OK with that. 

Until next time people.  Any thoughts out there?


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