So I have to be honest and say taxes are still a bit perplexing to me. The only thing I can say with certainty is that taxes are very much like death –you really CAN’T avoid them. I recall my first encounter with taxes. I was 16 and working my very first job as a cashier at the Winn Dixie grocery chain. Before I even realized, the first pay period came along and I was overjoyed to find a white windowed envelope in my mailbox. My mouth went dry, my hands trembled, and I shoved my very first paycheck in my pocket. I wanted to enjoy my first monetary compensation in the privacy of my mauve bedroom (I had a thing for mauve back then –and for the record, it looks absolutely frightful on walls.)
When I finally got home, I rushed to my room and couldn’t rip open the envelope faster. I actually ripped the corner of the darn check in my violent haste. There it was… a whole 89 dollars. “WHAT??” I asked myself in utter shock. “Where was the rest of my money??!!!” I know I worked part-time, but I knew I had earned more than just a measly 89 bucks. Then it saw it. The deductible taxes column; city, state, federal, fica, “HUH???” All I knew is that I felt robbed and it hit me, someone very lucky gets to benefit from my hard work, and that someone was good ‘ol Uncle Sam.
When we bought our first house on Long Island, I was again baffled by taxes. The way the tax system is set up, it was pretty obvious we were NEVER going to actually own our house, we were just “borrowing” it for a while. We later purchased another home in Florida, and I learned of a “tax grievance program,” (at least that was appropriately named!) We all grieve when it comes to taxes –especially now that we’re living in marvelous Manhattan. Taxes will literally choke you in your sleep here! Thankfully, we found a gifted tax accountant we’ve been using for about 14 years now, and she tackles our taxes every year handing us a tidy tax package at the end of our meeting. (Thanks Janice!) Tiny “sticker arrows” direct us us where to sign, and we look forward to receiving our little brown return envelope shortly thereafter. Ahhhh yes, the return –the only part that makes me smile. Happy April 15th everybody!