I finally filed my taxes! Ok…just the federal. The state and local are on deck for tonight. But the worst of it is done! (Insert happy dance here.)
The first question that pops into people’s minds when you say you finished your taxes is, “How much are you getting back?” My answer is that I’m not getting anything back. I had to pay. I had to pay exactly one dollar. And you may think that I did something wrong that I’m not about to receive a sudden windfall. But I think it’s just the opposite. I did something almost exactly right. I only missed by one dollar. I didn’t let the US Treasury hold onto a lot of my money throughout the year. And I didn’t have to write a giant check. I had the withholding correct within one dollar. And that’s about as right as you can be.
A big tax refund can feel great. But what it really means is that you have been loaning your money to the government throughout the year. And at tax time they pay it back to you. Without interest. Instead of being in someone else’s hands, my excess funds were in my hands. Earning interest for me. Paying bills. Buying concert and music festival tickets. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Tax refunds are nice. Not owing is nice. Being right on track is even better.