Tax Season

We love tax season. Common myth would have us believe that nobody likes to fill out their taxes and nobody does it until the last minute. That may be true for some people – maybe they have complex finances that take a lot of effort to file, maybe they owe, or maybe they just hate filling out tax forms. We have none of those issues. We have relatively simple finances and few assets and we use software to fill out the forms so its easy. We both claim zero knowing that we are missing out on money in every paycheck that we could use elsewhere. We do this on purpose because we don’t need the extra money that we would get by claiming a higher number of dependents and would rather receive a sum at the end of the year. It also puts a little bit of extra scrutiny on our finances – because there is less flowing in we watch what we spend more carefully which helps us make the most of the money that we have.

We’ve been very fortunate in the past few years to get satisfying returns from our taxes. When we first bought our house we took advantage of the 2008 New Homebuyer’s Credit as well as the Biomass Tax Credit and used it to furnish our living room, pay off wedding and house debts, and buy appliances. After almost emptying our bank accounts to get married and buy the house, our tax return was a treat. The next year we used it to pay off some more debt, do a little more to the house, visit my father in Texas, pay for numerous fertility treatments, and purchase my Canon SLR.  Last year was the first year where we didn’t have any huge plans for it so we decided to just save it. That turned out to be a really good idea because we ended up spending a lot of it to pay for the boys’ birth and first few months of day care.

This year is similar to last year, but with a focus on recovering some of the money that we ended up spending. We filed our taxes as soon as we received all of the info that we needed, received our return, and promptly deposited it into our savings account. We again paid off our debt (mostly credit cards) which not only feels great but also means that I actually own the Mac that I’m writing this on 🙂 In the past we’ve also been lucky to receive bonuses from work in March.  We usually throw our bonuses into savings along with our tax returns but we’ve made the decision this year that we can each spend our respective bonuses on “whatever we want”. I’m not sure what the bonuses will be, but I’d love it if I got enough to buy a lens for my camera and maybe upgrade my web server to a faster machine.

Every year we look forward to February because it means we have the chance to get a sum of money back from Uncle Sam and then receive a bonus a month later. It might not always be that way, but so far it has worked out for us. Already looking forward to next year…

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