Tags Posts tagged with "Taxes"

Taxes

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What could be more patriotic than paying your property taxes?

That’s exactly what my wife and I did for the Fourth of July.

In Connecticut, we have to pay local property taxes on our automobiles. We used to be pretty unique in that respect but, from what I’ve heard, now roughly half of the country has a similar tax. Greedy government… Grrrr…

The bill came on Wednesday.

Not including her car (she pays her taxes, I pay mine), total tax due for my two cars was $385.18.

That’s $42.36 less than last year but it still seems like an awful lot for an 11-year old BMW and a 5-year old subcompact Scion.

Here’s an updated chart of my personal property tax bill for the past nine years:

Property Tax Chart

Sure, looking at the tax that I’ve had to pay in the past, I should be quite pleased.

I’m not — $385.18 is a lot to pay on top of the registration fee, my drivers license fee, and the emissions test fees that I have to pay for on each vehicle.

And if I’m not mistaken, upon purchase, I also paid a 6% sales tax on top of the sticker price.

Grand total on the BMW, I’ve probably forked over nearly $10k to the State of Connecticut in taxes alone.

I dunno, seems a little excessive when you put it all together…

Anyway, it’s a good thing that July is a three paycheck month for me — just like last year.

I can spare it.

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Results of my 2008 Tax ReturnYep, spent some quality time with TurboTax this morning finalizing everything to the point where I was comfortable enough to file.

Things weren’t as rosy in 2008.

That was my final conclusion before clicking the “Submit” button.

See, our 2007 tax return landed us $3444 total. That broke down to $2643 from the federal government and $801 from the state government.

This year, our refund is just $798.

We actually owe $460 federal. That’s never happened before.

It’d be safe to say that I’m a little disappointed right now.

It’s not that I was counting on a huge sum to roll in… I guess I’ve just come to expect it. And this year, it won’t be there. That kinda hurts.

But, at the same time, I have to pat myself on the back a bit for all of those calculations I did back in December of 2007.

Without asking you to go back and actually read that original post, I adjusted my filing status and withholdings in an attempt to “balance” things more to my own benefit.

In a nutshell, I tried to increase both my take home pay and my 401k contributions by decreasing the tax withheld — but only to the point where I wouldn’t owe anything to the government come tax time.

I came pretty darn close.

In fact, the only reason that I went over is because the hockey team that I quit working for in November of 2007 (because they were *months* late in paying me) finally paid me on January 6, 2008.

Yep — that one check, just six days into 2008, resulted in a 1099-Misc. Grrrr…

In other news, I find it really aggravating that the state charged me sales tax for e-filing.

Connecticut Sales Tax for E-Filing?

Gotta love the double taxation. Call it what you want, but that’s what it is.

More puzzling, that $0.20 works out to around a 1% sales tax.

Last time I checked, 30 seconds ago, Connecticut’s sales tax rate was 6%.

I *really* don’t get it.

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Uncle SamSo I started doing my taxes this week and, while going through the motions, I stumbled across something that drove me bonkers last year.

I’m in shock that I didn’t blog about it then. Perhaps I did, but I couldn’t find any mention of it…

And, honestly, I wasn’t going to blog about it this year either until reader Doug Hill posted a comment on one of my better entries regarding my PMI battle with Countrywide — the one I eventually gave up on.

See, last year there was a “new” deduction that homeowners could take. You could deduct your PMI!

How about that?

I was pretty pumped — until TurboTax told me that I didn’t qualify for the deduction.

It didn’t indicate why, so I just assumed that it was because I was too awesome, um, that it was because my income was too high. You know, something positive.

But this year, the same thing happened and I made a lot less. For a minute or so, I got all excited when it allowed me to enter that I’d paid $1021.80 for PMI in 2008, you know, thinking that I’d get most of it back from Uncle Sam.

No dice. I don’t qualify. Still.

So, modified slightly, here’s what Doug Hill said to get me all fired up:

Only those that took out a loan after 1-1-07 can deduct the cost of PMI through 12-31-10.

I took my loan out in August 2005…

Look up P.L. 110-142. Newest version of section 3 (b) doesn’t say anything about when you took out a loan; but IRS Code Section 163 Section H (iii) says the loan must be after 1-1-07.

Now we have two classes of homeowners who pay PMI — Deductible and Non-Deductible.

He’s right.

Like Doug, I’m getting hosed because I bought my house before the market started to falter. As MoneyMateKate so eloquently stated in another post, “No good fiscally responsible deed goes unpunished these days. Grrr.

Grr is right.

Once again, it feels like I’m getting the shaft for making a wise move and paying my mortgage bill on time and in full for all of these years… while the people who are walking away from their mortgages because they bit off more than they could chew could potentially be “bailed” out…by the taxes I’m paying.

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IRS LogoFigures…

Just when I said that I wasn’t eagerly awaiting my W-2 this year, I’ve already flip-flopped…

No, that’s an overstatement.

I received my W-2 from my employer today and it truly had me thinking about doing my taxes for the rest of the work day.

Of course, I haven’t purchased any tax software yet and I’m still waiting on a few 1099-MISC’s so I can’t really get going anyway buuuuuuuuut the juices are definitely flowing.

I’d be shocked if I make it through this weekend without installing TurboTax

(Yes, I’m actually going to use the same product in consecutive years… Sorry TaxCut…)

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W-2Crazy how things can change in the span on one year…

No, I’m not talking about the economy. Or maybe I am…

I dunno, you can decide…

Last year, at about this time, I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of my W-2 and other assorted 1099-MISC’s so that I could sit down, file my taxes, and get my nice fat tax refund — we received a check for $3444 last year!

This year, though, I’ve barely given a thought to doing my taxes.

Haven’t priced out the different versions of TurboTax and TaxCut.

I haven’t even opened my last pay stub of 2008 to get an idea of how things may fall yet.

In all honesty, I’m not even salivating about the “thousands” that could potentially be coming in just a few weeks.

Why?

My best guess is that it has something to do with being debt free.

Last year, we threw almost all of that money towards debt.

This year, we don’t have that hanging over us. We don’t really *need* the refund.

Oh, wait, we did just spend $1650 on baby furniture, didn’t we?

Okay, I take that “we don’t need it” line back — the tax refund will again be paying down debt this year…

The big difference is that it’s not weighing on my mind like it used to.

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Previous Property Tax BillsYeah, sure, the personal property tax on my two cars went way down (un-expectedly far down) this year, but upon logging in to my Countrywide account this morning, I see that they’ve just paid the city $1912.09 on my behalf for the property taxes on my home.

That’s up nearly $269 from the last property tax payment back in January 2008. Ouch.

Now I can’t say that an increase was completely unexpected — back in April I posted an article from our local paper with this quote:

“Most homeowners will see a property tax hike of at least $150 this year if the proposed budget eyed by the city’s Board of Finance is approved.”

With my personal property taxes (on the cars) dropping so much, I assumed that this tax increase (the budget was approved) would take effect in 2009. Evidently, I was mistaken. I hope, anyway…

So now I’m not sure whether to pat myself on the back because this proves that my house is more awesome than everyone else’s in town or if I should be irate that my taxes went up so much more than $150…

(In reality, my house is smack dab in the middle when it comes to awesomeness in the city.)

Sadly, though, this large of an increase will effectively wipe out half of the savings I’d receive if I ever manage to settle my PMI issue with Countrywide

Too bad I didn’t realize how great I had it back in 2003…

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Property Taxes - Good Grief!Well, it’s that time of year again. Yep — tax time.

That is, if you live in one of the states that has a personal property tax.

Here in Connecticut, we have to pay local property taxes on our automobiles. We used to be pretty unique in that respect but now roughly half of the country has a similar tax.

Each year, the personal property tax is due on July 1st. The city mailed the bills out on July 3rd.

So, by the time we received the bill, after the Independence Day holiday, we were already 5 days late. Hmph!

Maybe it’s just me, but I just can’t understand how municipalities can get away with stuff like that… Granted, they don’t start charging interest until you’re a month overdue, but still…

Even worse, looking at the bill — they don’t have a due date printed anywhere. Seriously. Just a threatening paragraph about not being able to register your vehicle in the future if your paid taxes aren’t current. No return envelope either. And you can’t pay online.

Not very convenient.

I can’t remember the last time I actually addressed a blank envelope.

Probably about this time last July.

Anyway, this year the tax due on my two vehicles totals $427.54.

I’m pretty happy about that. Much less than I’d expected and far less than just last year.

I was prepared, actually, for an increase back in April when I’d read that, “Most homeowners will see a property tax hike of at least $150 this year if the proposed budget eyed by the city’s Board of Finance is approved.”

That proposed budget was approved, but upon re-reading the article, it (the budget) didn’t go into effect until this month so the tax hike will actually hit us on next year’s bill.

For fun, I went back and dug up all of my previous personal property tax bills. Okay, not all of them, but as far back as I still had the stubs on file — back to 2001 — and I was surprised by what I found:

Past Personal Property Tax Bills

Turns out, I had much reason to be pleasantly surprised by this year’s bill. It’s the least I’ve ever had to pay. A full $200+ less than last year! Fantastic!

Don’t get me wrong though… Not for one second am I saying that getting a $400+ bill in the dead of summer is anything to be jumping for joy about.

It’s not.

But July just so happens to be one of those mystical 3 paycheck months for me, so paring an additional $400 from the budget isn’t anything to worry about.

And how on earth was I able to pay a $701 tax bill back in 2002? Yikes!

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Gov’t Rebate CheckSo last night I went to the IRS website and played with their new “Where’s My Refund?” script.

As is common for the IRS website, in my experience, it crapped out and didn’t tell me anything.

Seems most government sites have this problem — you know, a nifty calculator or pay online option where you enter all of your information, click submit, wait a few seconds, and then get an Error 500 — Internal Server Error.

Anyway, last night, the “Where’s my Refund?” script said my SSN and number of exemptions from my 1040 didn’t match their records…

Um, hello? Yes they do — my 1040 is right in front of me.

Anyway, I was out of luck.

This morning, though, I find myself $1200 richer. Thanks America.

Can You Dig It?

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