This week, I did something I’ve never done by myself before.
Given, I had the help of our trusty friend, TurboTax (I don’t know that I could have tackled this thing without some kind of help!), but still, I did it. And not only was I proud to tell John that we were ready to file, but I also learned a whole lot in the process. For example . . .
I learned about various deductions for which we were eligible.
I learned about a whole slew of deductions for which we were not eligible (but might be if we owned a farm).
And at the end, I learned what our current financial situation looks like compared to that of last year as well as compared to that of the average American.
I imagine few people would feel this way, but I’m grateful for the chance to answer all these questions and complete these forms. I feel more like an adult, more like a decent citizen of the United States of America.
It’s kind of like the feeling I had when I sent in my first absentee ballot for a presidential election from school. On Election Day, I turned on Rock the Vote while I ate lunch. As I munched on my oh-so-sophisticated tuna melt, I sent up a prayer of thanksgiving for Susan B. Anthony and could describe my emotion as nothing other than “empowered.” Today, I feel the same way (minus the tuna melt).
I know our country isn’t perfect, and honestly, I am not well versed enough to discuss a lot of the implications of what Americans do or do not pay in taxes. But today, that’s not what this is about.
Completing the tax return process myself and clicking on lots of “Explain This” links along the way gave me a start to understanding more of what’s going on in our relationship with the rest of the country. At the end of the day, I’m grateful for that and for the motivation it’s given me to pay a little more attention.
(And you thought I wouldn’t find a way to get a picture of Jacob in there!)