Still Don't Get It

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).

6 thoughts on “Still Don't Get It”

  1. I’m with you, without property it seems pretty easy. Even after I got married it was completely painless. One benefit out here on the plains is that we don’t have a state income tax…all the easier come filing time (I do, however, really wish this God foresaken state had an income tax, but that’s another story entirely).

  2. The first time one of your friends gets audited, it puts the fear of God into you. This year, I’m going back to having someone do my taxes for me. Granted, I’ve gone out of my way to make my tax situation more complicated than it needs to be, but that’s just how I roll…

    1. I can appreciate that, but even if you do get audited, no reason to worry if you didn’t do anything wrong, right?

      Like I said, it’s all good if you just want to get things processed through correctly and opt to have a pro do it; but to take that action because you’re scared of the IRS seems like a lot of misplaced anxiety.

      1. Well, that’s the other problem. Even if you don’t think you did anything wrong, you may have. So, there’s the worry about owing back taxes, plus the general stress of having to find all your paperwork and defend your actions.

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