My dearest friend Soren and I like to argue over our varying approach to taxes whenever the topic arises. To be fair, Soren and I like to argue in general, because we always remember that we love each other at the end of our fights, which makes yelling loudly in one another's face quite a lot of fun.
Soren is pragmatic. He doesn't like to loan Uncle Sam his money all year long when he could be using it for things he needs now. Instead, he prefers to ride that line, where he balances the numbers just perfectly, trying his best to maintain a completely neutral position. He doesn't want to owe, but he doesn't want a refund either.
I, on the other hand, am not so practical. I like to use my taxes as a sort of piggy bank. I let the government use it for the year and pretend it was never there. I anxiously await tax season as if it were Christmas. And when it finally arrives, I file so fast you could blink and miss it.
My approach is wrong. I know this, and I don't care. I am addicted to tax refunds.
I received the w-2 I've been waiting on today, rushed home, and had filed by 5pm. After I finished, I felt a little shiver of anxiety when I realized that there is still one day left in January for things to be mailed, and in theory, I could still receive some unexpected tax document. But seeing as how I have both w-2's and the 1098-t from my student loan, I can't imagine what that surprise document could be.
The 1098-t seemed innocuous. I borrowed approximately $1500 for last semester, and didn't make any interest payments. I don't make a lot of money, and prior to entering that piece of information, Turbo Tax was estimating something like $768 for my return. But today, the magical munchkins of Tax Land were smiling upon me, probably with pity. In fact, I bet they weren't smiling, so much as grimacing and wringing their munchkin hands. Whatever the reason...the deduction gods prevailed, and that 1098-t resulted in a total return of $2200. Somehow, I still owe the state of Missouri $154...but WHOOOOO CAAAAAARES?!
I can literally hear my credit card balance weeping with joy.
Soren may be right, but I really don't care, because I win.