Having a taxing time? Same here! April 11, 2019 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1226)
I guess that it was inevitable–with the new 2018 tax guidelines being rolled out before the kinks had been worked out of them. The Tax Reform Act of 2017 is one gift horse that we probably should have sent back.
A big worry regarding tax reform was that employers wouldn’t be able to properly calculate the correct amount of federal income tax withholding to take out each pay check–and that people would owe money, rather than receive a refund.
Or just that the new tax code would squeeze more money out of those of us whose income is in a lower tax bracket, while leaving those in upper tax brackets actually getting a tax break. That sounds so backwards to me.
Well my employer did fine on their 2018 tax withholding calculations for my pay, and I/we would have had a tidy little sum coming back to us. But my hubby and I file jointly, naturally.
And yes you guessed it! My husband’s employer didn’t calculate his federal tax withholding correctly–and they took out too little federal tax. So now instead of us getting a federal tax refund, we are likely to have to pay money to the government–to the tune of about 1 week’s pay for my hubby. Ouch!
I’ve been hearing that there are a lot of people in this situation–owing money on their 2018 taxes. And I feel their pain.
So, what’s a law abiding citizen to do to raise the funds to pay off their tax debt? Here are my top five suggestions for alleviating one’s taxing situation (*facetious alert*):
5. Be glad that you haven’t paid your hospital copay bills yet, so you can pay what you owe–to the feds, at least. This method involves some adept juggling of payment priorities–if, indeed, you have any cushion in what you earn compared to what you have to pay out to live your life. And we are not poor, but with one house and two car payments, they rather commandeer a sizable portion of our take home pay.
4. Scour your spouse’s/partner’s pockets, car seat cushion seams, the washer and dryer, etc., for spare change. I swear to you, my hubby positively jingles all the time with change dropping out of his pockets as he walks.
3. Use an online seller, a pawn shop, etc., to sell off the unusual birthday and other gifts you have received over the years, that are unused and still in their original boxes–this has the added bonus of decluttering one’s home, too. Other items that have left our home over the years that increased our cash flow included a sword (yes, a real one), a sterling silver warming dish we bought at a garage sale (that earned us 10 times what we paid for it ten years ago), and various bicycles that my husband had refurbished (to support his addic … hobby of bicycle riding and tinkering), etc.
2. Open a lemonade sales stand–with interesting brownie treats. Although NPR recently said that there are some states with food consumption prohibitions, upscale restaurant cuisine is riding high, until laws catch up with their entrees.
1. Claim a very bad business decision that cost you billions, or at least millions of dollars, such that you don’t have to file/owe income taxes for the remainder of the century. Ha!
I am only half way through a very helpful online 2018 tax filing product. And I am itemizing everything I can, in the hope that the “standard” deduction for married filing jointly isn’t our best bet. My careful record keeping helps with itemizing. Fingers’ crossed.
And don’t forget that your doctor’s office, pharmacy, etc., can print out a 2018 calendar year summary of your medical expenses with them for ease in your itemizing medical expenses.
I’m interested to hear what your tax strategies are. And I’m willing to bet that some countries other than the U.S. might have better tax systems than ours. So bring it on. Ha!
P.S. And below is a little accounting eye candy to boost our weary spirits, in the person of the talented British actor Richard Armitage as Harry Kennedy in The Vicar of Dibley (2006):