Friday, January 20, 2012

Fiscal Fridays: Taxes (duhn duhn duuuuuuhnnnnn!)

Ah, tis the season for taxes. At least, it is if you live in America. Canadian you guys have an annual tax season? Is it lame enough to make you want to quit working forever and live off the land so you don't have to worry about whether you owe the government money? Cause we do. And I know I'm not the only one who feels that way.

(Those are supposed to be devil horns. Cut me some slack, I made this in like two minutes, haha.)

Anyway, some years the IRS has been my friend. My senior year, I got a student tax credit that resulted in my receiving nearly two grand back. This year, I'll probably owe Uncle Sam at least $1,500, if not more. Thank god I worked all those extra hours in my third job last fall, right? I can pay it, but it'll take all my savings. The Financial Diet is about to get a whole lot stricter, unfortunately.

Last year, I learned how to do my own taxes, thanks to some help from TurboTax and my dad. And I had a slightly complicated situation: something like three or four W2s, plus two 1099-MISCs for freelance jobs. Plus a partial-year student credit. This year will be just as bad: two W2s, a 1099-MISC, plus some itemized deductions and separate forms for 401(k) and HSA stuff. My head's spinning already.

Now, I'm no tax professional, but I consider myself to be pretty good with the basics. I even helped Matt file his taxes last year! So I'm opening up the floor. If you have any questions about your W2, or even your freelance stuff and the 1099-MISC, ask away and I'll answer next week. You can ask in the comments below, or email me.

Official disclaimer: I am not a CPA or a professional tax preparer. If you have serious or complicated questions, check with someone who makes their living doing this. I'm just here to share what I've learned through preparing my own taxes and through some basic research.


  1. Yeah we've got a tax season too in Canada. I'm sure it gets pretty complicated, especially with your freelance stuff, to make sure you've include all of the right information! Because I've been a student the last four years, tax season has been great! But I think my opinion will be changing pretty quickly once I enter the working world...

  2. Geez, if you end up owing the government that much money you might consider changing the deductions out of your paychecks. I get that a lot of what you owe comes from the freelance work but at least that way you'll have already paid the money.
    Also, I love me some Turbo Tax. I was trying to explain to my mother how awesome it is because she uses an actual accountant. And I was like 'but it's SO simple they tell you exactly which boxes to fill in!'


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