I know this is off topic, but as I sit here watching the tube as I catch up
on the world's home repair issues, I can't help but wonder - are there THAT
many people that are so poor they need to pay H&R Block or some other
store-front tax preparer the outlandish fees to get their tax return a week
or two earlier? With E-file they say you'll get it in about a week.
Besides, it seems pretty clear that if you are getting $2,600 back you
probably should reduce your withholdings and bring home that extra $216 each
month rather than sending it to Uncle Sam and letting him use it interest
free for a year.
Now back to your regularly scheduled programming................
Heh! Those Californians who over-estimated their state income tax as a
method of forced savings just got word that their "refunds" will be
delayed - maybe forever. The state's out of money.
'Course those of us who live in a state that doesn't HAVE an income tax*
don't have to take that chance.
* There are seven states that don't have a state income tax. They are:
Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. The
income tax in New Hampshire and Tennessee is based only on dividends and
What's amazing is that they do something like this rather than put the
money into an interest bearing account. You can't fix stupid.
OTOH, one time when I filed late and had overpaid on federal tax with an
estimated tax payment and got paid a very good interest rate from the
IRS. They must have some safeguards in place to stop people from doing
this intentionally. The rate is presently 5%, but it was much higher in
the past, i.e. 9% in parts of 2000.
You have to be careful here because in some of the states with no income
tax, other taxes make up the difference. I.e., the average tax burden in
Wyoming was 10.1% in 2005, versus 10.3% in California. Only 0.2%
difference, despite the California state income tax.
Good point. Income taxes are only PART of the tax load. Your table shows
California as the 20th most taxing state, but it's from 2005. California has
moved up to #11 in total tax burden.
For the no-income-tax state, their relative "tax-burden*" ranks are:
Alaska - 18
Florida - 15
Nevada - 7
South Dakota - 30(?)
Texas - 21
Washington - 8
Wyoming - 5
*Tax burden is a ratio of revenue to tax load from all sources (sales,
income, fuel, cigarettes, etc.)
Man I worked for H&R Block for two seasons. That "Rapid Refund" was
the biggest bunch of crap I've ever seen. I bet I did the worst job of
selling that feature than any other tax preparer ever.
I don't know if they have a better system now but back then people
would come in with a fake W-2 and get a check the next day for a
couple of thousand dollars and then the IRS would eventually deny
their refund and Block would be stuck with it. I hate crooks but in
this case it seemed to be one crook screwing another.
Refundable credits. Credits for pumping out kids. Credits for doing a
little work...but careful...not too much or you won't get the credit. I
did taxes for a year. Like 160 of them. It's sickning. People coming in
and having paid in a grand in takes then they "get's a chek" for like 5k
(I'm not shittin'!!!) due to refundable credits. It's free money to them
so they don't care if HR Crock gets a couple of C notes of it.
Yes there are. It is the "american way" which is deciphered into " I
want it all and I want it now".
You are correct, but it is the American way.
I am getting back approx. the amount you speak of only because of the
loses I took in stock towards the end of the year. Some of us don't
know until the end of the year if we are going to pay or get a return
due to the market.
Hank <~~~don't mind paying if making money too
You can go on line and do your taxes free and electronically file free
(Federal) and save a copy in PDF format free on taxact dot com. And you
can do your state there too for a small fee ($13.00 or so) and print
that in PDF format. No more messing with papers and filing. My state has
ifile online electronic but it ain't worth a crap to use. Still send
them idiots paper. Once you input you can't fix, have to file an
amendment. I'm the fracking inputer but I can't change an input? That is
Usually I " i-file" and this year got my refund after 4 ( four) days -
deposited to my acct.
Many '"working poor" with children - even if they max out their
federal personal exemptions ( on Form W-9), still get EIC. Sometimes
quite substantial. There's always a way to receive " advance EIC" on
your paycheck but within that class of people nothing job related is
quite predictable. They often change jobs, or new babies are born
( remember recent tv celebrities: OCTUPLETS ?). Or they lose jobs
because they happen to forget they did have them.... And the last but
not least - as they're poor , they can't afford an accountant to do
right paperwork for them.
p.s. did you know that:
1) nationwide, back in 2008 47% of families eligible for Medicaid did
not have it simply because they did not apply ?
2) nationwide, back in 2007 29% of households eligible for EIC haven't
received it just because they didn't do EIC Schedule on their 2006
federal tax return ?
People who use them, don't really do it for the fast return, so much as a
complex tax situation beyond their own understanding. I happen to do my own
now but with software. I then e-file all but one state that wont let a NR
Time is money and I can do it faster and cheaper on my own with their
software than by sitting in their office and answering the same questions.
Technically yes, but there is a nice side benefit to those not all that
great at saving money (and with minimal credit bills) in that the annual
return can pay for a vacation.
Take my case in point when at it's worst to see why folks cant always use
the online free system: Dual military, 1 child, both parents from different
taxable states (both tax military income and military retirement income),
living overseas with one with second job overseas out on the economy and
subject to that countries taxes on that portion as well as USA and state
assements in 2 states. House rented while overseas a portion of the year
and primary residence (no longer rented) another portion of the year.
15,000$ worth of energystar improvements and 10,000$ pure rental damage (was
actually 25,000$ but got a better return claiming the fixes as energystar as
thats what we fixed it with).
This isnt the level where you hire a tax consultant, but it is a case where
a person may well use HR block type services quite reasonably.
While you make a good point, I know of many people that use Block and they
use the EZ form. I do tax returns for a few people at work because they are
just lost when it comes to doing them. I do it for free, but the tax
preparers charge $100 or so.
In one case a worker asked me to use the fast refund option for an
additional $60 rather than wait two weeks. For someone making $10 an hour,
that is a lot of money to spend just to save a week, but he was desperate.
He didnt even save a week. A few mins and the EZ form is easy to do online.
It's the more complex ones that cant be done totally online.
Military folks generally on base can get help with tax filing, but seldom
beyond EZ level forms. If you own a house and rent it out as they moved you
(real common for us as you can imagine), you are 'on your own bub' which
really sucks when overseas.
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