It’s that time of year again — tax season. I began filing my W-2’s last night in what’s become one of the most joyous endeavors of the year for me. I’m not yet to the point where I’m paying in, so whenever late January rolls around, I start to plan out ways to spend that sweet check signed by Uncle Sam.
Last year, I was responsible with my return. I put the whole thing in savings to help fund a cross-country move. The year before, I re-upped my golf equipment — new irons, a driver, a bag, shoes. This year, I was planning on a car down payment.
I’m halfway through filing but I keep running into an error with H&R Block’s online filing service. Here’s hoping this won’t lead to an audit or something. I’ve already passed the section that determines which income-based credits I will receive, and unfortunately, my income is too high for several of those. I found myself wishing I made less so I could get a bigger tax return. I’m not saying I support tax evasion, but I certainly understand it.
The cruel part is H&R Block’s program shows your federal and state return through each step of the interview, and each time you move onto a new page, it adjusts to your most recent answers. Last night, my federal return peaked at $1,784. That was after my first W-2 statement. After I entered my second W-2, that amount dwindled down to $903. I felt like I lost $800 — money to which I was never entitled, but money H&R Block never should’ve promised.
Everyone deserves a tax return. It’s like the government’s giving you a high-five and saying, “Have a 42-inch LCD TV, on us.” Thanks, government.
I agonize knowing my lucrative tax returns are probably coming to an end, which is significant to a guy who, at age 26, still gets a stocking on Christmas and an Easter basket on Easter. Soon, I’ll have to save up before filing so I can pay in. This is among many moments and events that remind me, in no uncertain terms, that I’m getting older.