Taxation Procrastination and Patriotic Over-Payment
Tomorrow is the filing deadline for 2013 federal tax returns. Many taxpayers procrastinate about working on their returns. I am not one of those character-flawed citizens. I started my turbo-taxed return way back yesterday, which is long before tomorrow’s deadline. I might even finish it today. Lesser humans will still be working on their returns tomorrow evening while I will be lounging in front of the TV. Don’t you wish more people could be like me?
While on that subject, allow me to tell you a bit more about how wonderful I am. As I went through the Turbotax program, I was asked about earned interest. I reviewed our vast holdings and found, amongst the vastness, we have a checking account that bears interest. This is a good banking product for those of us who keep a large balance in our checking accounts. Our average balance (I say “our” because it is a joint account so my wife shares in my vast holdings) was apparently so large that we earned interest amounting to 62 cents. As an honest and patriotic taxpayer, I entered that amount into the Turbotax program and it was rounded up to $1. It seems that Turbotax is not so sophisticated as to be specific, which artificially increased my reported income by 38 cents. Consequently, Miss Sugar and I will be paying taxes on those 38 cents that we did not receive as income.
Those of you who are accountants, tax preparers, and other types of mathematicians are capable of understanding the effect of that inaccuracy upon my trophy wife, myself, and the national economy.
Those of you who lack the expertise to make these financial calculations need to follow along for your eyes to be opened to the magnitude of the travesty. By treating 62 cents as if it is $1 is a 61% increase, (I think it is calculated: 38/62=61%, rounded off), meaning 61% of that reported income is phantom income. I am paying taxes on 61% more interest than the bank paid. If we all reported too much income, our nation would have a false sense of the assets of its people.
It adds up. To paraphrase Everett Dirksen, 38 cents here, 38 cents there, and pretty soon we’re talking real money.
Miss Sugar and I are generous people. As patriots, we are going to allow the I.R.S. to simply keep the change (or apply it to next year’s tax obligation).
My fellow Americans, ya’ll are welcome!