Tax season is upon us. If you haven’t already started gathering tax documents and trying to wade through the lines of your tax form, it’s about time you got started.
Tax Day – April 15 – is less than a month away. And, honestly, if you can read a tax form and understand it after the first read, well, you’re smarter than I am. You’ll want to take Line 8 (the total of Lines 1-7) and subtract it from Line 10, which you haven’t even filled out yet. (Don’t worry about Line 9.) Then you’ll need to know if you have any deductible holdings (not including boats, cars and second homes), blah, blah, blah.
It’s about as understandable as Pig Latin for the average person trying to complete their own taxes.
But let’s cut to the chase. Many of us, despite the protestations of leaders in the General Assembly, will pay more in taxes to the state of North Carolina in 2015 than we did in 2014 – even if you’re making the same amount of money. And, in most cases, you are because raises have been hard to come by in the past few years. It’s interesting to think about when you consider
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Already, according to news reports, some folks have expressed their displeasure. Seniors have learned, for instance, that some of their healthcare deductions have gone by the wayside. Legislators seem to be feeling the heat of that decisions. There’s movement afoot to change that part of the tax code because no one really wants to be seen as being mean to old people.
A great many of us have found, as we’re doing our taxes, that other changes in the law also have the net effect of dipping into our pocketbook too. In the Whitfield family, that was the case as well. On our 2014 tax return, we were required to send the state $15. That amount alone doesn’t sound too egregious. I’m generally willing to pony up $15 for the greater good. But the previous year, we got a $786 refund. That’s a net cost to our family of $801. And that’s without a change in our family’s income and the new cost of paying for a child in college.
There is no doubt somebody, somewhere in North Carolina, is paying less in taxes this year than they did last year. But I haven’t met them. And, the truth is, they probably wouldn’t trumpet how great the new tax laws are because they know they are the exception to the rule and anyone listening to them would probably be seething at the fact that their own tax returns weren’t as kind.
So, belly up to the bar, ladies and gentlemen. The time has come for you to find out just how much you’ve “benefited” from the new tax laws are General Assembly has given us. We’re sure you’ll be thrilled by the outcome. And, if you’re not, at least you’ll be somewhere you can partake of some liquid refreshment to help ease your pain.
It will be interesting, in the long run, to see just how much North Carolinians are willing to put up with in terms of increased taxes and reduced services before they start pushing back.