It’s that time of year again, folks. That’s right, it’s time to shop online for more adorable masks that match your outfits and hoard that toilet paper.
Oh, and taxes.
Right about this time every year I buy another copy of TurboTax, because I’m too cheap to pay a professional to do my taxes, but not brave (or stupid) enough to attempt to figure out all the forms on my own.
This will be an especially challenging year, since, starting this past July, Washington decided to send me half of my child tax credit early, in the form of six paper checks that arrived one after the other, each month.
I still haven’t figured out how giving me a tax credit early, before I file my taxes, helps my net financial situation, but I’m sure that it had absolutely nothing to do with politics. After all, the tax code is based solely on reasonable, logical, and completely fair math.
However, if I read the rules correctly on 2021 Form 1040-EZ-PresidentBidenLovesYou-4Ever, I may owe more taxes now, since I received some tax dollars in advance.
As I understand it, if I have spent all that money already on – let’s just say, hypothetically – a pair of sweet used 1997 Yamaha Jet Skis, and a Traeger Pro Series 34 Wood Pellet Grill with the optional polyurethane wheels and SmokeMaster bronze lid, I might need to actually return one of my children to the government if the math doesn’t come out in my favor.
That’s a little worrisome, but what really has me the most concerned right now is TurboTax’s recent ad campaigns. Have you seen the one with the coffee spit takes?
The scene: Two guys sitting at a table. One is named Steven. He’s drinking coffee.
Announcer: Steven, did you know TurboTax is free, no matter how you want to file?
[Steven turns his head to the right and spits his coffee all over his friend.]
Steven [looking back into the camera]: I don’t believe that
Announcer: It’s true. Anyone with a simple tax return can get help from an expert, for free.
[Steven again spits his coffee all over his friend.]
Steven: That can’t be true.
Announcer: It is. And with TurboTax Live, our experts will even do your taxes for you, for free.
[Steven, for the third time, spits his coffee all over his friend.]
Friend [utterly soaked in Steven’s coffee, hair dripping]: Honestly, that sounds amazing.
Announcer: For a limited time, TurboTax is free for simple returns, no matter how you file.
I mean, sure, I’m a tad concerned that since my tax returns aren’t “simple” because I’m not a single, apartment-renting Starbuck’s employee with no dependents and no financial investments of any kind, so I actually have to pay for my copy of TurboTax, that I’m footing the bill for all this “free tax return” nonsense. But that’s not what has me really worried.
What made me cringe and fear for the future of our great nation was the disclaimer across the bottom of the screen during the commercial:
Spray simulated. Do not attempt.
It’s kind of a toss up actually, now that I think about it. Am I more worried that we have a government that will try to buy my love with my own money, hoping I don’t notice, or that lawyers legitimately feel the legal need to warn me not to spit coffee on other people?
The answer is yes.
See you soon,
Copyright © 2022 Marc Schmatjen
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