Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy April 15th!

I think it's our responsibility as citizens to be able to do our taxes. Sure, for some it's easier or more efficient to to go an accountant. For others, their taxes are complicated and they need professional help. But most people should be able to use a software program or just read the instructions in the 1040 booklet.

Yes, the U.S. tax code is complex, but much of it doesn't apply to average individual tax payers. And it's not like filing tax returns is a one-time deal. It's something most people do every year for 50 years or more. So, figure it out. If you have a new tax situation, learn about it. Your knowledge base will grow and what once seemed tricky (claiming income from stock sales, filing with partial-year residency in multiple states) will become easy.

And for goodness sake, don't under-withhold. Just don't do it. And if you do it, don't blame anyone when you owe money.

April 15th shouldn't be a bad day--unless you have a messy house and seven people coming over tonight. Better get to work!

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