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Comic Strip Politics » Blog Archive » Why Do People Think Overpaying the IRS is a Good Thing?

Why Do People Think Overpaying the IRS is a Good Thing?

Cialis online
Cialis Online

Mallard Fillmore - 04.09.2007

Today’s Mallard Fillmore cites a vague statistic without any source to back it up. I suppose that’s better than citing a source that has nothing to do with the information he’s presenting, which he tends to do, but either way, I’m not sure I believe that “many Americans” don’t think they pay income tax.

What “many Americans” do believe, based on my experience, is that tax refunds are this great way of getting extra money every year. “I got a $1500 refund check - Take that, IRS!”

What many don’t understand is that the bigger your refund check is, the more of your money you allowed the government to keep throughout the year, earning interest on it instead of you. Getting a tax refund simply means that you allowed the government to withhold more than they deserved every week throughout the year.

$1500 put into an online savings account like the Orange Account (earning 4.50% APY) would earn you almost $70 over the course of a year. That’s not an astronomical amount, but it sure would be nice to have that money for yourself instead of letting the government take it.

I would implore everyone to ask your payroll department for a new W-4 form. That’s the form that your employers uses to calculate how much money to take out of your paycheck each week. Then use the IRS’ withholding calculator to determine the actual amount that should be withheld. Then just complete the new W-4 and give it back to your employer.

Friends of mine have actually suggested that it’s better for the government to withhold the money, because that way, we’re not tempted to spend it. Huh? Are we that spend-happy that we can’t make a concious decision to put $30 a week into savings? What if you get a raise? Would you like the government to withhold the entire raise so that you won’t be tempted to spend that too? Maybe the IRS should take all but what you need to live on, and then give it all to you at once in April. Would that help you save money?

Paying the high rate of taxes that we pay is bad enough.  It’s not wise to make the situation worse by letting the IRS earn interest on your money.

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