The Neosecularist

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Are You Getting, Or Hoping For, A Tax Refund? Why That Is Such A Terrible, Terrible Thought…

Everybody hates to pay taxes.  We curse, we scream, we yell, we rant, we put it off until the last-minute.  And then we do our taxes, crunch all the numbers, add up all the deductions, breaks and credits, and breathe a sigh of relief, let out a little laugh, a snide chuckle as it were, and smile when we see that we have a chunk of money that the federal/state government owes us.  Finally – our government is giving something back to us.  A few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, on average.  What sweet satisfaction that is.  What sweet revenge on a government which has taken so much from us in that fiscal tax year.  What a – terrible, terrible place for any American taxpayer to find themselves in.  WTF!

You had such great plans for that tax refund, didn’t you?  You were going to pay off bills; take a vacation; buy a new car, a new computer,  a new something – but you were going to spend that money, splurge and go crazy on yourself, for yourself and have some fun.  You’ve been told for years, and perhaps for decades you’ve been under the tax refund delusion, that getting a tax refund is a positive, joyful, gratifying experience.  Now you are being told that is all a lie, a sham, a scam created by government itself no doubt.  You might be crestfallen, heartbroken, shattered.  And if you are receiving a refund this year, because you paid too much in taxes, all you can do now is suck it in, accept it, and rush to amend your filing status so that next year you OWE taxes to the government.  Wait, what?  Who is this crank?

Is this not making any sense at all to you.  Are you confused beyond belief?  Are you sitting there stumped, dumbfounded and seething with indignant rage because someone is telling you what a terrible, terrible mistake you are making in setting up your tax return in such a way as to OWE money, rather than receive a refund?  You still don’t understand how any of this all adds together, do you?

It’s elementary, really.  The tax refund you are hoping for, and hoping to be HUGE, is money that is sitting somewhere in a government fund, collecting interest for government, benefiting government, being used by government for whatever purpose government sees fit to use it.  That’s your money.  Why isn’t your money sitting in your bank account?  You have bills, debt to pay, and the refund you are hoping for, you are delaying paying off your debt on until you get that refund.  But you claimed ZERO, or ONE on your tax return, which means you are paying more in taxes to the government than if you claimed TWO or even THREE.  And if you had claimed a higher number, you would have paid less in taxes.  And if you were paying less in taxes, you could have paid off some or all of your debt before you filed your taxes, and certainly before the government got around to returning your money it owed you.  How much interest on that debt could you have avoided by doing it that way?  How much extra money, on the interest, could you have saved, if you could have had that extra money each month to pay down your debt and get it paid off sooner rather than later?

Maybe you don’t have debt.  (???? – Is anyone in that “predicament” these days?)  Well, you still wanted to buy that new car, new computer, new something – right?  You still wanted to take that vacation – right?  You still wanted to do something fun and exciting with all that money – right?  You still wanted to treat yourself, pamper yourself, indulge yourself, in yourself, for yourself – right?

Well – why the hell do you think you can’t do that unless you are OWED a refund?  In other words, by setting up your tax return so you keep more of your money, and in essence flip the finger to government, you could be setting aside your money each month and building up a nice pile for yourself, for when you do want to do that special thing for yourself, whatever that might be.  And – because it’s already in your bank account, and not sitting somewhere in a government account, you don’t have to wait for government to get around, which they are always sluggish about doing anyway, to returning your money to you.  Turn the tables on government and make government wait for the little bit you end up owing come tax time, just like they make you wait, and wait, and wait…

The dirty little secret, ladies and gentlemen, is that there is absolutely no reason for any taxpayer to hope for, or expect, or want a tax refund from the government.  It’s all been propaganda, a scheme, and a scam, devised and disseminated in such ways as to deceive you into believing you are better off with a refund rather than with another bill to pay.  As a taxpayer you actually want to OWE some money to government, not the other way around.  And until the federal income tax is abolished, (we can only hope) most of us who earn money from a job will have to pay a portion of those earnings to government.

How does it make sense to pay more up front and wait to get your money back on the government’s time (on government’s and your dime) when you could keep that money, your money, and make the government wait for the little bit you will end up owing it?  You’re not hurting government (you’re certainly not hurting its feelings) by paying less up front, and the rest at tax time.  You’re not hurting yourself by paying less up front.  You will not be penalized by government, or hunted down by a government official by not paying more up front.  So – why do it?

And, if you have always done it, hoping, expecting a refund, doing it for the refund, now that you know how futile, how fruitless, how non-beneficial to you that really is, will you still arrange your tax return for next year, and the years to follow so that you continue to pay more in taxes just to get a refund, when you now know how silly that is?  Why!

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One thought on “Are You Getting, Or Hoping For, A Tax Refund? Why That Is Such A Terrible, Terrible Thought…

  1. Pingback: Tax Day Proposition « Mental Health Food

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