This past Sunday, the NCAA revealed the brackets for March Madness. The country will be inflicted with a particular form of hysteria these next few weeks, but unfortunately, this little national hoops holiday isn’t one which my staff and I get much chance to participate in. We’re too busy doing your taxes!
Yep, this is close to our busiest time of the year, and we’re working “like mad” (see what I did there?) to handle the increased volume this year. Because with all of the political chaos out there, it’s clear that people want real answers from someone who knows them — and cares.
But let me say this: though my business does well this time of year, I’d rather things were better and our tax code was simpler. I’d rather the economy was roaring and everyone felt confident enough to handle their own financial forms.
However, the sheer complexity of the tax code keeps me in business — to take the hassle away from you, and apply our expertise to your situation. But wouldn’t it be more efficient if paying taxes didn’t actually require so much expertise?
I know … a bit of a controversial statement from a tax accountant. But I get tired of seeing new clients bring last year’s tax returns to us–and realize that if we’d helped them sooner, they would have saved a bunch of money (fortunately, we *can* file amended returns!). If things were simpler, people would keep more of their money — and THAT’S one of my passions.
Now, I have some thoughts here that might feel a bit controversial. But I’d love your thoughts on it, and I read every note that comes my way.
Why You Should Consider Giving Away Your Tax Refund by Joshua Ortego
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” -Tony Robbins
We have many clients who are receiving tax refunds this month, and that number of course will only be rising. So, here’s a thought for you: What would it look like for you to give your refund away?
Yes, this is a radical idea to think about, but consider: what does this tax refund represent to you?
If you’re like many families, it’s a bit like “found money” — i.e. an unexpected windfall. And, in those scenarios, it’s tempting to hoard it, or to splurge.
However, as with other windfall scenarios which I’ve written about in the past, one of the smartest things you can do is to give a portion (at least) of it away.
Why do I suggest this?
Well, I believe it’s actually enlightened self-interest in the long run. And not just in your sense of “feeling good”.
I see the balance sheets of people from every walk of life, and over the years I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon: individuals and families who make giving a priority, even when they aren’t “wealthy”, seem to do better in the long run. And I mean financially — not just in their state of mind.
(Though, there are significant soul reasons for giving. Have you seen, as I have, that those who freely give seem to be more pleasant company?)
Before you write this off as being “ask the universe” mushiness, understand that 1) I don’t subscribe to that baloney and 2) I am merely reporting an observed phenomenon. Do with it what you will.
You see, I make it a point to observe how money works. And, for some reason — money gets attracted to those who aren’t merely in hot, desperate pursuit of it. It’s almost like it is in romance — potential lovers are usually turned off by the overly-aggressive seeker.
So consider this. I know it might feel painful. But trust me when I tell you that it can actually provide you with a deeper feeling of joy than if you choose to cling tightly to everything that comes your way.
I hope I didn’t ruffle your feathers … but if so, understand that most of all, we are here to walk with you no matter WHAT your balance sheets look like, or what you choose to do with it.
And lastly, we’re here to help. Let me know if you have any questions.
Joshua L Ortego, CPA