Happy Tax Day, everyone! Usually, we opt for an extension on filing our taxes. Being self-employed, my wife and I both have weird stuff to work out, so we are ok with the consequences of an extension. But this year, we got it all together, and our tax accountant was happy to get us in just before the deadline. And by “just before”, I mean today. And what a day it was!
Filing in Person
For a very specific reason that is a whole other story, we were going to file our federal tax return in person. It’s not a big deal really. The IRS office is about 15 minutes away. My wife drew the short straw (kidding, I had meetings all day), and went first thing this morning. We were told to “get it stamped”, but since we’d never filed in person before, we didn’t really know what that actually meant.
When my wife arrived, she texted me to ask specifically what we should be asking for. I called our accountant and asked him. But before he could give me an answer, my wife texted me a picture of the “policy” notice on the wall of the IRS. You can file your taxes there in person, but between April 9th and 17th, they won’t give you the stamp. That’s right, you can go in person, and they’ll take your papers, but they won’t physically pick up a rubber stamp and give you a “confirmed” receipt.
That “policy” defeated our entire purpose of filing in person. Next!
e-Filing is ever so much easier…or is it?
In case you didn’t see the headline today, the IRS website at which millions of people e-file their tax return, crashed today. It was down all day. My accountant, still incredulous that the IRS would not confirm that they physically received someone’s tax returns, said he tried every 30 minutes to e-file all his clients’ returns today. I finally got our confirmation tonight a little before 9PM.
They knew this was coming, right? I mean, the IRS knew that this week is the filing deadline, so they would be prepared for millions of filings, right? Wrong. OK, they knew, but they were not prepared.
It amazes me that the largest government on the planet is so inept. Doesn’t matter your party affiliation. The IRS is the IRS. They exist to take money from taxpayers. You’d think they’d be really, really efficient at it. But then there’s the tax code, which only God Himself can possibly understand, and which I am quite sure all the congresses who pasted that monstrosity together over the past century have never collectively read.
I’m a fan of the FairTax
If you don’t agree with me, that’s ok. We can argue all day over which method is the least soul-killing for a government to utilize to take money from its citizens. When you want to kill something, you tax it, and it eventually goes away. We tax our incomes. Does that make sense? The FairTax taxes you on what you spend, over and above a certain amount for basic necessities. The more you make, generally the more you spend, and thus the more taxes you’d pay.
Imagine the world’s largest economy with no income tax for individuals or corporations. It boggles the mind to think how amazingly prosperous the people of the United States could be if we got to keep all the money we earned, and pay taxes on what we choose to purchase. If you haven’t read about the FairTax, I highly encourage you to do so. On the other hand, if you think more taxes are a good thing, we should probably have a long talk over some adult beverages.
Rant over. Happy tax day.