Friday, April 3, 2015

Death and Taxes

What is that old saying...Nothing is certain as death and taxes.

It's true.  As negative as that may sound, it is true.  I found out just how true that is earlier this week.

I did my taxes this week.  I have been putting it off for weeks!  I am self employed and it's always a struggle to make that work.   Last year, I got a huge return.  I have always gotten a huge return when I did my taxes but I knew that I had made more this year.  Last year, after discussing this year of taxes with my accountant, he felt like even if I made more, I would probably break even especially since my charitable contributions would go up so much having Spencer out on a mission.  So, that is what I was banking on.  Well, truth be told, I had convinced myself I might have to pay a little bit.

Well, I do have to pay a little bit.  Like $8000.00!  What??!!!  I was totally and completely dismayed! It took everything I had to break into tears right in his office.  He was totally dismayed too.  The problem is. I missed just about every tax break by dollars.  Literally dollars.

My income was just over the cut off for the earned income credit.  My medical write offs just a couple of hundred dollars from getting a big break there and the fact that Spencer didn't live with me the whole year hurt me as well.

Let me just put this in perspective...my income was $33,000.  Does is seem reasonable that I have to pay?  Seriously?  Yep...25% Self Employment tax.  I know that this is my fault.  I should have been taking 25% out of every job I did and put it away but I needed every dime just to make ends meet.

Now, I'm the very uncomfortable position of trying to pay the government back $8000 and start putting away 25% of my income every month.  That will leave me about $1800 to live on and that is not going to cut the mustard...as they say.  I'm short about $1800 to pay the bills and that doesn't even include food or taking my kids for ice cream or a movie every now and again.

I'm pretty frustrated to say the least and I feel like there is no way out of this situation.

If I go get a full time job, I will probably only make $25 an hour and that won't be enough with all my 'stuff' but I won't be able to take care of my kids the way they need to be taken care of.  It would only be a matter of time before they decide to fire me because of missed time.

I can try to get more work and build my business, and I'm trying desperately to do that but the truth is, I am so exhausted and I am running out of hours in the day when I can work. What is the point to spending the rest of whatever time my kids have left working.  I want to be building memories, good ones.  

Obviously, I am cutting back the budget but so many things have come up this month.  Things that are totally unavoidable like finally getting new glasses.  I can't see out of any pair of glasses I have.  It's been three years since I had a new prescription and I don't have insurance.  So...that needs to be done...I actually won't get into it but suffice it to say, I'm at a loss.

I know it comes down to having faith and hope that God will show me the way out of this.  I am accustomed to working hard and having faith so it should be easy but it's not.  It's always challenging.  I was talking to a dear friend this week and we both agreed that we need just one week of 'easy'.  If you ask me, we are both due for a year of easy!

While I was at the accountants, I was asking all sorts of futuristic questions about death and taxes.  Eventually, he asked me if I was planning on dying this year.  At the rate things are going for me, it's not too far fetched...I feel like I have one foot in the grave!  I explained my situation and he fumbled around trying to find the right words to say.  He was pretty much unsuccessful but I admired his efforts.

I felt like I needed to bail him out of the uncomfortable moment so when he said, "Well, one thing for sure is that sooner or later, death comes to us all."  It sounded so poetic and he was so serious and trying so hard to be comforting...but I couldn't resist my response...

"And so do taxes!  Death and taxes..."
His serious demeanor melted away and both laughed awkwardly in the entrance as he opened the door and I walked out to my car with tears burning my face as they fell.  Sometimes I want to ask..."Can things get any worse?"  But I already know the answer to that.

Instead, I sat in my car and plead for Heaven's help.


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