April 16, 2009

Save on your taxes! Buy a house!

Thursday, April 16, 2009 Posted by Ryan , , No comments
Everyone told me that my tax burden would be significantly less when I bought a house. I’d be able to deduct everything and pay so much less. It didn’t quite work out that way. Maybe if we already had a bunch of things that were “itemizable” but we are apparently a household with little to deduct and came up a few hundred below the standard deduction. We were still able to deduct a portion of the real estate taxes – that was nice – and since it was all still so simple this year I took advantage of a free online preparation program and free e-file.* Really it’s a good thing that we came up short on the deductions because it means we aren’t paying a lot in interest. I mean it’s a lot, don’t get me wrong, we don’t have one of those swanky 4.8% mortgages that people can get now. But it isn’t the 14% that my parents paid. Maybe the low rates will stick around and we’ll re-finance and get a 15 year, or buy the vacant lot.

*Apparently I wasn’t paying enough attention while completing my tax preparation online because I got an email this morning with the subject “Your Federal Tax Return Hasn’t Been Filed”. What! I finished it I swear, I remember entering in my account number and routing number and “signing” the return with my new PIN, what do you mean to tell me (the day after taxes are due) that I haven’t filed? I logged back onto the web site and figured out there were three more “next” buttons to click to finish filing. Don’t you think they could have sent me an email yesterday? “Make sure and file your taxes since you obviously forgot to click Finish?” Or maybe when I closed the tab a warning popup could have asked “are you sure? You haven’t actually sent the IRS anything yet.” I know it was my fault, but it still sucks. And I’ll have to pay a fine of something between $1-$28 and if I don’t pay in a timely manner the IRS will demand 20% interest. Yay.