I grant you that a big part of the ease of my annual tax preparation is that I:
- am single,
- make barely any money,
- don’t own a home,
- or have any dependents.
However, it seems like the FREAK OUT level in general here in America is huge when income tax filing time rolls around. Personally, I’ve never had a problem either completing all the necessary forms or walking through the free-to-use online filing options conveniently linked through the IRS’s website.
Is the mere spectre of the Internal Revenue Service itself enough to make average citizens whip themselves into a panic? Do most people just assume that filing their taxes is too hard, or perhaps not worth the individual effort? I can appreciate some level-headed confusion about how to maximize one’s refund, or the desire to call in some backup (in the form of a pay-for-use software product, a paid tax preparer or accountant) when it begins to get complex, but what I can’t fathom is the apparent crippling terror.
Maybe this is just because I grew up always seeing my mom complete her tax return at home, by herself, for all the times that I made any tax-related observation. Probably also helps that as soon as we kids got jobs, Mom had us get on the phone for the easy-as-pie, 10-minute “Telefile” option that existed at the time. It goes a long way to removing tax-intimidation when your initial contact with the process was 100% painless (and they sent you a check, to boot!!).
Anyway, I caught this link via Lifehacker, saying that ANYONE can now e-file for free (there used to be a income-limit), and reading through the comments on the post makes me shrug with confusion. I just don’t lose any sleep over it, and I am happily awaiting my refund as we speak (finished filing last Thursday).