Esther posted this question today so I'm using it as my idea for a post today.
Did you receive a refund or did you owe?
We send our taxes to a wonderful accountant that specializes in church workers in Fort Wayne, IN. We have had a pattern the last few years of the years that we had a baby we got a huge refund and the years that we didn't have a baby, we owed. I still don't know why it was working out this way-maybe we spent more of our housing allowance the years that we had a baby? Since we didn't have a baby last year, I expected to owe.
We pay estimated taxes each quarter because pastors are considered self employed. For Federal we are receiving ALL of that estimated taxes that we paid back in our refund plus another $905. We did not pay any estimated taxes to the state. We are receiving $777 refund from the state.
1. Thank you to the Congress for part of this refund because Ram bought a new car last year.
2. Thank you to President Bush and the prior Congress for most of this refund.
It bugs me when people say they are getting a huge refund and they have an excuse to make big purchases with their refund. The refund was their money that they earned, the government either kept it out of their check or they paid estimated taxes and the government had their money. While the government had their money they didn't get any interest or get to invest their money. The government was their savings account without any interest for that year. But in our case this year, our refund really was $905 and $777 MORE than we paid in. We haven't received our refund yet, but it will probably be spent on medical bills that we know are coming.
Our state refund was interesting to me, especially because we did not pay any money in estimated taxes. Of course it is more complicated than this, but $25 was "lower income motor fuels tax credit" and $752 was "Minnesota working family credit" for our 3 Lambs.
Unfortunately, my sister did not do so well. She had several jobs last year that all pay a little more than minimum wage and no benefits. She has had a lot of medical bills after her knee surgeries. She works as a church secretary for one of her jobs and that is considered self employed. She owes $900 even after all of her jobs besides church secretary withheld taxes for her. She currently doesn't have a job (besides the church secretary) and has no money to pay this $900. It just shows how messed up this whole tax system is. Unfortunately, I think the current Congress is going to make it worse for ALL of us and we are very close to the end of refunds like my family received this year.
I read on the internet that a lot of stores/restaurants are having good deals today in honor of tax day. We live too far away to take advantage of the deals, but check it out if you plan to go to Starbucks or McDonalds or other places.
So, did you receive a refund or did you owe?
Our other good news-I'm not sure if it was last night or today (because it was around midnight), but a baby girl was born in our tri-parish last night. This is a big deal because this is only the 3rd baby besides our Lambs that has been born while we have been here the last 7 years. Ram has done some other baptisms for grandchildren that want to be baptized at their home church, but there are only 2 active families in our church with young children besides our family. Of course Ram took the message and didn't ask what the name of the baby was, but he'll visit them soon and I'll find out!