Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Joys of Tax Season

So it is that time of year again. The seasons of terror and confusion as the dark rider comes and pillages our bank accounts. Yeah, that is right, it is tax season. The season when I remember that nothing can be simple.

As a self-employed freelance writer, and a college student, I would like to say that I understand the process of filling out my tax forms. But honestly, I don't. I spent a couple of hours on it last night, and I am still not sure if I filled out the forms correctly.

I am not sure if there is anyone outside of the paid tax professionals who understand the system. I am betting there isn't. Last night, I spent fifteen minutes trying to figure out whether or not my college grant was taxable income or not. And how does the IRS know what you spent the money on (in my case, it was tuition, books and fees), which seems to be the determining mark of whether it is tax-free or not.

And don't get me started about interest vs. dividends. I think I technically had both. If not, then there is a mistake on my forms.

I am not sure how many mistakes I made on my tax forms. Ultimately, I am not worried. I did not claim all my business expenses; so if I missed something, I should still be ok. Besides, I am a small fish--I did not earn that much.

But given the fact that I am already scheduled this year to make more money than last year, I am not looking forward to filing next year. I wonder if my economics professor will consider giving me a discount (he does tax preparation). If not, can I get a simpler tax code?

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