It only took us 3 months too ;) Wow though, what a sigh of relief…I’ve been stressing about this for 2 months now and the worst part about it was that I couldn’t do anything to speed it up! I wish I could state why, but you’ll have to take my word for it that it was honestly truly not my fault, okay? Good, glad to see you agree with me. (my ex-girlfriend from 6th grade used to say that alllll the time, and apparently now I do too)
Now I bet your wondering two things right now: 1) How much do we owe/get back? and 2) Did I actually for once do them myself?! After stating to everyone in BlogLand and Twitterville that I would give it a shot for the first time ever? Read on…
J’s Taxes 2009: The Financials
WE GOT A RUFUND!!! Two to be precise – A federal and a state refund. Which in all honesty comes as a surprise. I’m not big ballin’ on this blog or anything, but all those sponsored links and google ads you see around here do add up over time. And since most of it goes directly through PayPal and other non-taxed avenues, I was starting to worry if we’d owe a chunk (and like a bad boy I hadn’t set aside money to cover it! Blasphemy!). But it seems the ol’ house saved us again :) I guess that’s our present for paying $24,000 in mortgage interest & taxes last year. Boy… here’s what we got back:
Federal tax refund: $2,300
State tax refund: $700
And guess where it’s all going toward? Our 10-Day Eurotrip!! That’s right – gotta pay off that credit card before I think twice…and if you think about it, it’s kinda like Obama just paid for it! W00T!
J’s Taxes 2009: The Doing of ’em
I’m not gonna lie, I cheated. For a 5th year in a row I had my accountant do them for us :) But that was only because of the issue that shall not be named! I didn’t want to risk it being so close to the cut off-date and all (aka NEXT WEEK!). So while I wanted to give TurboTax a good pokin’ around, I guess we’ll have to wait until next year again. But I swear, one of these days I WILL learn how to do them myself! Even if that means using TurboTax AND my accountant at the same time to verify I don’t mess up and/or get thrown in jail like a certain someone.
Cost of Accountant: $170
Late fee for waiting so damn long: $25 (but oh so worth it!)
When all is said and done, I couldn’t be happier. $3,000 cash back isn’t as good as last year’s $6,000, but anytime you don’t owe the government anything it’s a total win in my books :) I’d be happy to “loan them” my money anytime, screw it. Better to be safe than sorry, I say.
Now how about you guys? Whatcha all doing (or not doing) w/ your refunds?
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Congrats! it feels GREAT to get them all done and know they are done right. (I wasted about 5 hours trying to do mine before enjoying a quick but pricey refund)
Enjoy that money on the Eurotrip. Just curious how you feel Obama paid for it? You worked YOUR butt off to make that money and probably paid quite a bit in taxes?
Have a great vacation!
I hate comments like “if you think about it, it’s kinda like Obama just paid for it!”, even if made in jest. The money to pay for this trip is coming from one of two place, you or the rest of the tax payers. If this is a refund that still leaves you paying some taxes it is money you loaned the government. If it is a refund that leaves you getting back more than you paid in taxes, the refund is money from the rest of the tax payers. The government doesn’t produce or earn anything. They don’t make money, they take money. I’m not trying to start a whole debate on whether or not we should pay taxes. I do indeed want the government collecting taxes to pay for some things. However, when the government pays for something, it is really the tax payers that are paying for it. I am a tax payer, so I want the credit if I am paying for this trip :)
Congratulations on your refund! I know the relief of finally mailing in those taxes. I just finished mine about a week ago, but not nearly as exciting as yours. No refund coming back at all, but at least I didn’t owe money ;)
I taxcrastinated as well and only just got mine filed even though I had been working on it off and on since February.
I will be getting $46 back and it is going into my splurge fund so I can party with friends who are graduating in May.
Tsk Tsk Tsk, after all the talk of doing them yourself! You can still go online and using the tax prep software for free to see how your number compares to what your tax guy got you. Who knows, maybe he missed something and you deserve another $1000!
Come on, do it as an experiment, like you going homeless for a day or buying 100 lottery tickets, this will take less time and cost less than either of these!
We each got one “fun” purchase (mine was a Kindle!), a chunk went into savings, and the rest just helped prevent more being put on the card than we could cover in a month.
LOVE your budget (AND the fact that you made it Google Docs friendly)! I’m cranking through setting it up now. So far so good!
Have a great day! #ISWU
I got lucky to get $500 back from the federal government this year. In all reality, I would have had to owe about $500, but my daughter was born in 2009 and got me a $1000 tax credit. Yes!
And I agree with Philip, I actually caught some mistakes on the tax return my CPA worked on. I still went through my CPA though, due to a new house, new wife, and new daughter. I didn’t want to take chances on all of these changes in 2009.
Yeah it’s true, Obama and the Gov’t didn’t pay for my refund or anything else I claim on this blog. I just like saying so because it’s how I separate things out in my mind, and it makes me feel good! :) So while this $3k was 100% our hard-earned money that had our name on it the entire time, I wasn’t expecting it and is totally “extra” in my eyes. Which, technically, does get deposited by the Government. Totally cool if comments like this offend anyone (we’re on a blog so you can speak your mind whenev!) but to me it doesn’t really matter where it comes from, or who’s giving it – Just as long as they’re not taking it! Haha…
@Lulu – “taxcrastinated” haha…love it.
@Little House – Hell yeah! I’ll take that any year ;)
@Philip – I know, I suck huh? Good point about still being able to run the numbers though….I will put it on my Top 10 to-do list, but unless I get a magical break in time commitments right now, it may take me a while. Don’t lose faith yet, though, sir ;)
@Lundie – Yeah girl, much love! I really really REALLY hope you find it useful and it gets you to manage that money easier :) It Starts With Us, baby!
@Anthony – Could I borrow her just for a bit? Promise to give her back after I re-file my taxes ;)
My refund was spent before I even got it! It went straight to paying for something I may or may not have broken. The jury’s still out on it, but as long as they got their money, it hasn’t been up for discussion. LOL.
I did mine as soon as I got my W-2’s and got a refund.
AND THEN, I had to do an amendment because I completely forgot about my tuition and am now waiting on an additional refund from the government.
‘Twas a good year.
I got to cut a big fat check this year because of my blog earnings. I paid estimated taxes throughout the year and met the safe harbor requirements, but even so I was short by $4000 or so for federal and $60 for state. I also had to pay my first quarter estimated taxes for 2010 yesterday so that was another $2200 or so. So $6000+ later – I’m all done with taxes for the year!
Thankfully I knew this was coming and saved up the cash to pay the big bill, but it still hurts sending all that money away into the big government sinkhole! *sigh.
Congrats! We barely squeaked in with a refund.
CONGRATS on the huge refund!! And nice work on all that mortgage payment amazingness last year!
I’m only getting a whopping $300 after turbotax takes their cut, so I’ve made an executive decision:
I’m spending it all on things I have been refusing to spend money on:
-New jeans/clothes. Mostly the jeans. I have 2 pair. One of them already had to be patched cause they are so worn out.
-New DVD player. I can’t learn my workouts without it. Plain and simple. Plus it’s just nice to be able to cuddle watching a damn movie without the commercials or channel surfing…
-I haven’t decided if I want to buy new running shoes. This is up in the air right now as a MAYBE
I am sure I’ll think of something else between now and the 16th, but those are my main goals!
I like your stance on tax refunds. I constantly hear from PF bloggers that refund’s are just you getting your money back because you paid too much. I know it is just that, but really what is wrong with it. Sure, the government may make a few buck interest, but it is better to be safe than sorry and who doesn’t love the surprise payday.
I completely understand when people say, “Hey, it was your money all along!” But it’s not the worst thing in the world that you paid extra then and get it back now.
Anyways, congrats on the refund…
The Minimalist Path
We did the same thing that you’re doing, we’re going on vacation. We’re just going to Rome for a little over a week at the end of this month. The tax refund went to that trip and also to more furniture pieces for our house. We bought a new house last year – 8,000 tax credit – so we had a lot more money to play with.
I got my $8k first time homebuyer tax credit, which I promptly transferred to savings, and mostly net out to zero otherwise. Since I closed at the end of the year, I didn’t owe payments on my mortgage in 2009, but am hoping to glean the benefits of paying that interest in 2010!
I may use a bit of that to get a patio put in our backyard, but the rest will remain as the emergency fund. Nothing like the fear of credit card debt to make you keep money in savings for when the (fill in the blank) breaks!
I’d have to agree with J and David. $2,000 at 3% is “only” $60. Play with the numbers how you want, but you’re only “losing” $60 worth of savings in order to get a $2,000 refund. That’s a good trade-off, I’d say.
I *could* plan better and have a refund closer to $0. The extra money I get throughout the year *could* go towards savings or debt reduction. But really, would it?! Knowing myself personally, I prefer the refund. Yes, it is my money. But like J said, it’s somewhat unexpected and not budgeted, so it’s like paying myself a bonus at the end of the year.
I did my taxes weeks ago, but have held out on finalizing them because I owe money. If I were getting a refund, I’d have finished them and have gotten the checks by now. Oh well, it’s better than giving the US (or state of CA) an interest-free loan I guess…
Oh my gosh, you have to read Ramit’s post on those who say you loaned the government your money for free, lol. http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/tax-refunds-mean-youve-given-the-government-too-much-money-is-stupid/
Congrats on your European trip, should be very nice. I did my taxes myself with TurboTax and I paid off my credit card debt and my car loan a few months in advance and I couldn’t be happier!
We are putting our refund into the general savings account which is what we usually do.
We got a sizable refund — but only because we bought a home last year. That means we qualified for the first-time homebuyer tax credit AND could itemize to deduct our mortgage interest and property taxes. We’ll see what happens next year and perhaps adjust our W-4 withholding so more of our money is in our paychecks, rather than getting a large refund.
Anyway, we’re finishing off our CC debt with our refund — I broke it into two payments and made the first one the other day. By the end of April, we’ll have no interest-bearing debt except the mortgage…. so “sexcited”!
I love the term – taxcrastinated. Hahaha!
I ended up owing about as much as you had refunded, but I expected that and had money put away for it. In fact, I ended up saving more than I needed to pay, so Meghan and I bought new computers with the leftover funds. ;)
Our taxes have been done for months now. TurboTax is super easy. If you decide to give it a try, you can go through the entire process without having to pay anything. You only pay when you e-file.
You don’t wait until next year to work in TurboTax. You go do it now to see if you can recreate what your tax accountant did; THEN you are ready next year to copy info from one year to the next and update the numbers.
@Investing Newbie – haha, nice work.
@DCPrincess – Oh dang, yeah I mad a similar mistake a few years ago….cost me like $300 extra cuz it jacked up all my numbers. Great that you had it done so fast though! (btw, I’ll be responding to your email in a few :) )
@Peter – It def. doesn’t feel good, that’s for sure ;) But it seems to be a nice problem to have, eh? Must have brought in a pretty penny from the ol’ weblog (haha….that always sounds funny to me – “weblog”)
@corrin – $1 is better than -$1 :)
@Brandi – Congrats on paying $23k of interest ONLY? haha…it’s not by choice even if it means we get more back at the end of the year ;) LOVE that you’re going to spend money on yourself w/ your refund though, well done. We can’t just save it all the time, so spend away my friend!!
@David Damron – Yeah, it kinda drives me crazy too to be honest with you. Not saying one way is better than the other, but it’s like come on – if it works for us let it be :) Thanks for dropping by bro.
@LenciB – Wonderful! Rome will be a blast too, I gotta get back there sometime…
@Jenna – Haha, you got that right sister. And once you’ve got that Emergency Fund topped you’re golden!
@Anthony – Yup, you got it. I’d gladly give up $60 to get $2,000 at the end of the year and it be a surprise. It’s hard to account for every single dollar and situation out there, at least for me. I need a little wondering every now and then.
@Stella – That’s def. a reason to hold off for a bit :) As long as you don’t forget and file too late!
@Kimmoy – Yes, GREAT post! Totally forgot about that one….should have included here ;) Congrats on getting all that debt paid off!!! I’ll drink a beer for you tonight! haha…
@ctreit – What does “general” mean? To be used for whatever you want later? Is there a max limit you keep in there, or is it all go with the flow? Just curious :)
@RainyDaySaver – Awww yeahhh….I’m sexcited for you friend. All good things!
@Tim – It’s great, isn’t it?
@Keith Morris – Oh man, that’s a great idea…my laptop is at *least* 8 years old and who knows when it’ll break. Crazy that you saved MORE than you needed though, that’s great!
@Shelley – I know, you guys are all right…i just have to set aside the time to give it a shot. It just means not working on my online empire for a bit, which I’m all hardcore about right now :)
We don’t give a job to every dollar we save. We pay for big ticket items like vacations and cars out of this general savings account. Makes sense?
Ahhh yeah for sure. I don’t assign all my little Washingtons either, so I got ya ;)
I gotta write a damn $2.00 check to the state of Pennsylvania and mail these tax papers before the deadline. Turbotax did me wrong this year! Congrats on your 3K return, dont go spending it all in one place!
Too late ;)