“Generally, there are two problems
With money: 1. Getting it and 2. What
To do with it.” – Dean Young
The dreaded tax filing day is upon us this Tuesday. When I think back to only a year ago, I am reminded of the bottomless despair I sunk into after receiving a letter from the IRS stating that I owed over $3,000 in taxes. This would increase my total personal debt to close to $10,000. I also remember in April of 2011 when I used a groupon to skydive 14,500 feet out of a plane. While the thrilling experience might leave some to question their existence, or see their whole life flash before their eyes, the only thought in my mind during the free fall was, “Well if the parachute doesn’t open, at least I won’t be in debt.”
But I safely landed on the ground that spring and I spent the rest of that year paying off my tax and personal debt. However, on New Years Day 2012, while I still had a hangover from champagne and gin, and the din of the Mummers Parade spread through Philadelphia, my mind roared not with Mayan prophesies of doom, but of 1099s, W-2, checks, and ING total savings. I swore that for the first few months of 2012 I felt a tax specter in the form of Uncle Sam following me around wherever I’d go.
I’d see a star spangled top hat in the rearview mirror of a car I was driving, or there’d be a man in a blue woolen coat and brass buckles staring at me while riding the trolley to work. Worse yet, the older man with hair like ivory waves of grain would be taking my money instead of serving me mini-quiches at Trader Joe’s. The tax ghost always remained stoic and unrelenting. Although he would never speak, I imagined him to say, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your tax money MONEY MONEY!”
I felt merciless to the tax spirits’ whims so I planned by reading up on my tax write-offs, and business privilege taxes, and I saved 15% of my 1099 earnings in a savings account. I would exorcise the tax ghost for good! I dutifully filed my taxes this year but still expected the worse. However much to my surprise I received a tax refund. I was no longer in debt and would have extra money to spare. I couldn’t believe my good fortune. My haunting was over and the ghost disappeared. So beware the tax ghost. I hear Wesley Snipes hasn’t been able to get rid of him.