With the approach of tax day, I thought it would be apropos to discuss my tax situation this year... I am happy to say, that after 5 (FIVE!) different returns, I am done. And with a slight refund, though I did owe Ohio $3.00. *shakes fist at Ohio* So let's see, there was the (1) federal return, the (2) Maine state return, the (3) Ohio state return, the (4) Ohio school district return, and the (5) Ohio regional return.
What have I learned from all of this? Well, (1) the federal return wasn't a big deal and that it was worth paying a slight bit to import all of last year's information, (2) Maine's state return was highly obnoxious given that you can e-file but only through a paid-for tax service, (3) doing partial resident state returns sucks big time, so that's something to look forward to next year as well, and (4) Ohio's regional return online system is a convoluted mess that initially said I owed $163.90. After a lengthy phone call, we got that right on down to $0.
This post comes at a time when the nation is debating taxes because (1) well, it's tax season and (2) various government peeps are proposing their budgets, which undoubtedly includes tax information. I'm not going to get too into it, other than to say taxes suck. During my 6years in Ohio, I earned a relatively small amount of money, paid a relatively low amount of taxes, and got a pretty substantial refund (compared to my salary). Now I make 3times as much but pay almost a third of that to taxes. And the refund? A good number to look at, higher than what I got in Ohio, but not at all proportional to past years. Now, I'm sure we all experience this: the pain and dismay of seeing how low your take-home is compared to what you actually "earned." I don't like it. That being said, I understand it, and I support it. Taxes suck, but we need them, and if I need to pay a little more so that a family of 4 on $20,000/year with 4jobs between 2working adults can get (1) food stamps or (2) health care or (3) whatever. So be it.
Wow, so that last paragraph was longer than I meant it to be. This post was meant to be positive! So let's get to that. Anyway, I did the math and it looks like my refunds are going to cover most of my Europe-related travel. Between (1) adding up federal, Maine, and Ohio school, (2) subtracting the federal and Maine filing fees, and (3) subtracting my Ohio payment I appear to have just enough to pay for my (1) bus to and from Boston airport, (2) flight to and from Europe, (3) train from Edinburgh to London, and (4) train from London to Amsterdam. And there was a slight bit left over! It looked like it would be enough to buy a 7-day travelcard for the tube in London. Holler. However, after doing the conversion, I realized my refund would be about $3.00 short.
Damn you, Ohio.