I read a story on Huffington Post this morning that affirmed something I already suspected to be true: The good people of Portland, despite being overwhelmingly liberal, hate taxes. They hate paying them and, apparently, they hate receiving them. This seems true of a lot of coastal cities, according to the map above.
When my W2 tax forms show up, I process them as soon as possible. That was the case again this year. I received my statements from my teaching assistantship back at Minnesota State University, Mankato and from my current job by mid-January. Twenty minutes on the H&R Block Web site and BOOM! $1,900 for Mr. Andrew Thomas Miller, a giddy, yet punctual tax-filer.
I’ve been quick with filing my taxes since I was 15 when I filed my first return. I didn’t even know such a thing was possible. I had worked half-a-year at a Hy-Vee in Sioux Falls, SD bagging groceries for $5.15/hour. My income couldn’t have topped $5,000, but I still remember getting that $300 return, which was promptly spent on a CD player for my 1992 Pontiac LeMans.
Since then, I’ve used my tax return to purchase: four golf season passes, golf clubs, a computer, a vacation to Tampa Bay and a handful of other over-the-top material goods I can’t even remember. That’s what I do with tax returns — I throw that cash back at the economy.
I’ve had the good fortune of not having to pay in just yet. That’s one of the few benefits of being at or below the poverty line. Things may be different this time next year, but as a young college graduate, it’s nice to have some padding in my savings account for once. Forget building a nest egg — I’m just gathering the twigs.
I’m shocked at how many of co-workers have yet to file their taxes. I’m talking about my peers with zero kids, modest income and little reason to believe they’ll be paying in. The process is so easy, too. I’ve used H&R Block for state and federal tax returns the past four years now because they keep your previous filings on record. That means no hauling around shoeboxes with your previous year’s income or record of your last return. It’s a smooth system, and each time I’ve filed, the money has been deposited in no more than a week, tops.
I’ve heard tax returns are a little sweeter than usual this year, too. I’m guessing that’s because of the Making Work Pay tax credit, which (as you can probably guess) rewards working Americans. I’m holding a bachelor of arts in English, so while I can actually read the MWP tax credit, I can’t tell you what it means. The mere sight of numbers makes me anxious. Read the link above for yourself.
The map above indicates the good people of the Midwest — my people — don’t mess around when it comes to filing taxes. Where I come from, if the government’s trying to give you money (even if it’s yours), you don’t make a fuss. You fill out the paperwork and claim that shit post-haste. What’s the matter with you, Portlanders? It’s not like the cost of tofurkey and Odwalla is getting any cheaper.