The IRS took my gun away!


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Sisco
February 5, 2003, 08:00 AM
Well, not literally. My fault actually. Usually I like this time of year, refund check normally comes just before the local gunshow which works out real nice.
Not this year. Apparently last Feb. I was scheduled to work a whole bunch of overtime. In an effort to keep as much of my paycheck for myself as possible I changed my number of dependants from two to six.
It never got changed back. http://pages.prodigy.net/rogerlori1/emoticons/doh.gif
So now I gotta send Uncle Sam $1500. The state will want some too. :fire: :fire: :fire:

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foghornl
February 5, 2003, 08:05 AM
Made that same mistake myself, several years back. Now I watch my paystubs VERY carefully. One time, employer changed payroll services company the same pay period that raises were issued, so I didn't notice that dependents had changed from 3 to 6. Took a terrible beating that year from forms 1040.

p.s. Like the "DOH!" smiley....

ruger357
February 5, 2003, 09:00 AM
Ouch.:(

Sisco
February 5, 2003, 09:13 AM
Add to the formula that my wife got a rather generous disbursment from her dads IRA & retirement accounts after he passed away - all fully taxable.

Tady45
February 5, 2003, 09:21 AM
Yikes, don't worry, Uncle Sam will use the extra $$$ for homeland security :rolleyes:




Larry

mjustice
February 5, 2003, 09:25 AM
Sorry to hear about your tax botch-up.

Personally, I would rather pay uncle sam at the end of the year rather than have him hold too much and I get a refund. I think I can make better use of the "extra" money than they can...

Right now I work for someone else and I own my own business. I look forward to the day when I can leave my day job and work on my own full-time ... then I won't have anyone else but myself to feel bad for when I spend a good part of the day posting on THR! :)

MJ

MrKandiyohi
February 5, 2003, 11:12 AM
mjustice has it right. You want to pay each April 15. That means you've been able to keep that money all year before having to give it to the stickup artist.

Save money each month, and you won't be caught short at tax time.

If you want to have $500 each April to spend on a firearm, send me $42 each month and I'll send you a check for the total in April. That's what a tax return really is. It's money you gave someone else who wasn't supposed to have it.

Yeah, I guess you could look at your total tax bill the same way. :)

BerettaNut92
February 5, 2003, 11:26 AM
It's kinda like dropping a $5 behind your couch...when you find it, you're overjoyed...wait...it was your money.....

El Tejon
February 5, 2003, 11:28 AM
The IRS, the Indiana Department of Revenue, Workforce Development Commission, Federal Unemployment, Social Security Administration, etc., et al.--the usual suspects!:D

notos&w
February 5, 2003, 12:24 PM
im w/ mjustice, MrKandiyohi, and skunk.

a tax refund is nothing but a return of money you've already earned but did not have access to. without interest.
besides that, ive found it leads to less than responsible/prudent spending habits. ill save the few extra bucks a month but if i get a nice check, its time to blow it on something i dont really need and wont really want 3 months later.:banghead:

spacemanspiff
February 5, 2003, 12:29 PM
i'd have to disagree. i enjoy getting back several hundred bucks. its like christmas, if i celebrated it that is. so what if i could have had that cash in my pocket. i wouldnt have put it away in the bank. its better for me if it comes in a lumpsome. thats why i have and extra $25 taken out of each paycheck, i dont miss that money from my pay and i certainly enjoy getting it back.
for example, this year i'm putting my refund towards my first 1911. i wouldnt be able to do that if i had to pay the man, now would i?

TarpleyG
February 5, 2003, 01:00 PM
I have to disagree too. I need a new car and I am expecting several thousand back this year because some laws changed that affected us in a positive manner. We were able to right off student loan interest this year when we couldn't do it last year. Anyway, back to the car. I wouldn;t have been able to save that money for a year to buy one but now I can pay cash for a good used car and after I sell the car I have now should be in really good shape. Don't get me wrong. I TRIED not to overpay this last year but as the laws changed, it favored us.

GT

Bob Locke
February 5, 2003, 01:04 PM
Don't let The Man use your money interest free! It doesn't make a HUGE difference for most folks (including me), but an extra $50 or so in interest at the end of the year would be a nice bump. Plus, if something comes up and you need a little extra it'll be there.

Got pretty good at estimating my taxes while in the Navy. Helped that my pay didn't fluctuate very much during the year, too. Was generally within $100-150 one way or the other most years. Don't like getting big returns for the reason stated previously. It's gonna happen this year, though. I, too, worked a lot of overtime (about 500 hours, give or take), but I never altered my withholdings. Got chewed up on a couple of checks (I worked 50+ hours over in a two-week period on four or five occasions), but it's gonna come back to me for the most part.

I may just be in the exact opposite situation as you, Sisco, depending on how a couple of other things shake out.

DFBonnett
February 5, 2003, 01:43 PM
Why do you post this crap under that heading? I read the post thinking the IRS is screwing with my rights and all I get is some drivel about your tax bill. Tough ****, pal.

Pappy John
February 5, 2003, 01:50 PM
I feel for ya, Sisco. Same thing happened to me last year and I had to sell my Garand (sniffle) to pay the frieght.

Sisco
February 5, 2003, 02:36 PM
Comon DFBonnett, how do you really feel? :eek:
I'll agree that paying a litte bit or better yet breaking even is the way to go. Just really got a shocker this year. Worse part is, there's no one to blame but myself. Hate it when that happens! :D

Spackler
February 5, 2003, 05:03 PM
I try to work it so I break even, owing nothing and getting nothing back. I usually end up owning a little.

Doesn't make sense to me to let the government use my money all year, and then make me fill out a bunch of paperwork to get it back. Some people look at it as a little windfall. I'd rather have it during the year.

MrKandiyohi
February 5, 2003, 05:14 PM
i enjoy getting back several hundred bucks. its like christmas...... so what if i could have had that cash in my pocket. i wouldnt have put it away in the bank. its better for me if it comes in a lumpsome. thats why i have and extra $25 taken out of each paycheck, i dont miss that money from my pay and i certainly enjoy getting it back.

Spacemanspiff, some of the problems with your plan are:

1) Christmas only comes once a year. What if you need money 6 or 10 months down the road? Too bad, it's in Uncle Sam's bank, not yours.

2) If you're not fiscally responsible enough to save on a monthly basis, you'll never become financially secure, IMHO. If you want to put a down payment on a house, do you overpay the IRS tens of thousands of dollars in order to have the money on hand later?


i wouldnt be able to do that if i had to pay the man, now would i?

Yeah, you'd already have it in your bank. You could spend it today rather than wait for the IRS to give it back a few weeks after April 15.



TarpleyG:

There are some situations which you can't control like changes in the tax law half way thru a year. Those usually aren't an annual event though. If you could forsee that you should change your W-4 due to , you would have(should have) had that same money, but just earlier.


My general rule is that I can never spend more than 50% of my savings except for major events like buying a house. After I got out of college or after buying a house, I'd check my savings before a major purchase. If I had $500 in the bank, I could only spend $250. I'd have a nice starting point to build up to $500 and beyond. It also helps if you're a little cheap.

Don't let a car repair or broken leg break the bank. Don't use a credit card as anything other than a loan until the bill comes, and then pay it off completely.

As the saying goes, the money you save could be yours.

MrK

Pendragon
February 5, 2003, 05:49 PM
Nice sentiments. Really.

Some people are more disciplined. I am not one of them. However, what I lack in discipline, I make up for in resourcefulness.

Back in the good old days of a happy economy, I would regularly get several thousand dollars back each year. I did not mind because I was not good at saving and I probably would have blown the money anyway.

The other thing that happened at the same time was a company bonus - so every spring, we had way more money than sense and once we bought a car, once we took a trip and the last time, we bought a house.

The whole thing about Uncle Sam keeping your money interest free is 100% true. But in my experience, only a certain percentage of the population has the mindset (I would say personality defect ;)) to really track every dollar and make that work for them. Humans are emotional creatures and for those of us who are less disciplined, we often do not mind the refund each year. The actual interest is microscopic and if had an extra $150 per check, I would have just found a way to eat it or drive it or shoot it (in a gun) or my wife would be wearing it or hanging it on the wall - whatever.

For those of you account types, I say knock yourself out - I am incapable of living your life and frankly, it is the stuff of my nightmares - but I am glad it works for you.

Now, when things got tight, yeah - I cranked up the deductions (baby, house, education - all helped a lot). Luckily, I got a severance package that was heavily deducted from last year. If I had got all the money, I probably would have spent it because I did not realize how dire our situation would become. Now, once again, I get a fat refund and it is literally going to save my house.

I did not plan it that way, things just always "work out" - I like flying "seat of the pants" - some of you like instruments only - whatever - my dad is like that, I am not, we both realize that we have our own ways and we accept the results of our actions.

Blackhawk
February 5, 2003, 06:02 PM
Sucker thread title.

ha ha...

spacemanspiff
February 5, 2003, 06:10 PM
mrkandiyohi, i think the major reason i dont mind letting uncle sam hold onto some of my money is because my pay isnt all that great. if i made $60,000 a year then yeah, i'd see the benefit of winding up owing at the end of the year. but if i did that right now, i'd only be looking at an extra $50 a paycheck. not that motivating for me.

especially since i am terrible at managing my finances. i spend too much and more often than i should. although in the last year, i can say that i have more to show for the amount i have spent than in the last few years. so its not all being wasted.

Stinger
February 5, 2003, 06:14 PM
Taxes suck. Get a CPA. Mine is my brother. Works out pretty nice! I prefer to pay the correct amount of taxes, not receiving any refund, or having to pay.

Sure, it is nice to have the money at the first of the year, but economically speaking, paying more up front is an ignorant practice. At least if I have the money, I will be drawing some kind of interest off of it.

Stinger

stipilot
February 5, 2003, 06:17 PM
What's a refund check?:cuss:

Kharn
February 5, 2003, 06:29 PM
I ended up owing $150 this year, instead of getting $300 (I'm a college kid, that's a lot to me) like I recieved last year and was expecting to help pay for an XD9 this time around. I picked up an on-campus job in fall semester of this year, and the school only withheld like $3 off my first paycheck and a few pennies off each of the subsequent ones. Sure was nice to have the money during the semester though, I'd rather pay the bill than get a refund.

Kharn

Kahr carrier
February 5, 2003, 08:19 PM
IRS-LOL.:neener:

coonan357
February 6, 2003, 01:35 AM
in the past I was able to manage my money well because I was making it (ave45-60K a year ) but in the last several years due to my condition I haven't been able to make that ammount and the driving industry is not paying like it used to work more/make less , so now I look forward to my tax return , it was great several years ago to beable to put money asside from my checks to buy a new toy every few weeks but now I am lucky to stay current with my household bills , BTW I have no credit cards anymore . or any new cars . this years I was lucky to clear 26K working 80 hr work weeks , talking about taking a hit !! plus my taxes and cost of living went up .taxes by 22% on my property

John Galt
February 6, 2003, 03:06 AM
Now, change your exemptions to 13 & live on rice and beans until April 15. By then you will have the $$ saved up. Then, change it to 1 and you have all year to catch back up.

Also, the tax tables used for the first 6 months will be off because Bush will get his way by summer and this year's tax liability will be way less. If you are married & with kids your bill for this year will be far, far less than last year.

ps: I'm a CPA dude.

notos&w
February 6, 2003, 07:24 AM
-

MrKandiyohi
February 6, 2003, 10:48 AM
Sorry if I sounded a little preachy. I've been in college (broke) and have been layed-off (broke). Each time, I've been able to stay within my earnings. Same thing when I've had good jobs.

I'm in no way an accountant of any type. My 401(k) is more of a savings acct at a bank. No day trader here. My method of determing how many deductions I needed to have on my W-4 was through adjusting them after a tax return. If I got too much back from the government, I upped my deductions. My interest deductions will be going away on my house later this year(15 year mortgage being paid off finally), so that will probably change my tax return. I'll wait until next year's return to see if I need to lower my deductions. No Wall Street analysis done here. Just 'adjusting the thermometer' on my paycheck.

Learn to control your impulse buying. Yeah, I've spent money foolishly some times, but I've also walked away from purchases I really wanted, but didn't really need. I've purchased new cars, but I tend to drive a car until it no longer runs. A major repair once or twice is much cheaper than car payments that are due every month.

I'm not looking down at you or trying to make your life "dull and boring". Just trying to help you out with some advice.

But, if the IRS is what you need to help you sock away some money, so be it.

Now to the important message: Have fun with the new gun!!! I'll bring the ammo!

spacemanspiff
February 7, 2003, 12:42 PM
well i do try to make sure i dont spend money on stupid things. and for the last time, the strip club is NOT a stupid thing to spend money on!! its stupid to take a credit card or atm card with you when you go there, but when you got a few bucks burning holes in your pockets, the smart thing to do is release those burning ones in the best place possible.

but anyways, my other spenditures are minimal, considering i dont have a car, so i dont have to pay for gas, insurance, maintenance, and my rent is relatively low. its my credit cards that kill me. i keep thinking 'oh i can buy this, i've only charged like two or three things this last month', forgetting that i've said the same thing every week. those two or three things really add up.

i figure once i get my credit cards all paid off i'll cancel half of them and keep just 2 or 3 for emergency purposes.

i also want to increase the extra amount taken out of each check to $50 so i'm guaranteed another $600 back at refund time. i figure that since my 401k is doing so poorly, (-30% losses this last year) it wont do much good to keep flushing money down that toilet.

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