Sunday, February 6, 2011

Better together

In our little family, I do our taxes.  Well, in 2011 we don't really "do" our taxes as much as plug numbers into a website.  It's basically Facebook with fewer YouTube links.  So, in our family I plug the numbers into the website.  On Friday I began this process.

I'm not sure how many of you don't actually know me in real life.  I'm guessing not many because, well, that seems like a pretty good guess.  But if you do not know me in real life then you probably also don't know that my real job is in music: music therapist (it's a thing), music teacher, and singer.  S is a teacher.  This means our respective W-2 and 1099 piles look like this:

S - 1

It also means we always have to pay taxes in April.  I don't mind paying taxes, I really like the police and fire departments and our paved roads and the library and healthcare (that's right, I said it, it's gettin' all political up in here*), it's just painful when it's one lump sum.  So this year I decided to see if it would be advantageous for us to file separately.

Turns out, it's not.  We save money by filing jointly.

Is it weird that this result made me glad?  I was happy, maybe even relieved, that as a couple we would both benefit from doing this one little thing together.  I guess this is how I hope most things in our marriage will go - by being in on it together we will both end up with a better result than if we had tried it alone.  But sometimes I worry that it's not working out that way, especially in our current state of uncertainty about our professional and locational future.

I wasn't sure if "locational" was a word but blogger didn't put a wavy red line under it so it must be.  Did I mention that I'm applying to PhD programs?  It's words like "locational" that take you to that level.

Anyway, I would just like to thank the federal government of the United States of America and the government of the state of Georgia for affirming my marriage.  We will show our appreciation by writing you a hefty check in a month or so.  You are welcome.

*But not really, this isn't that kind of blog.  Not yet anyway.  Please do not help us get there.


  1. Thanks so much for posting this! I had been wondering if we should file separately because we owe this year because I had like 5 moderately paying jobs in 2010. But then I wasn't sure what to do with our deductions - would they go on mine, his, both, split? I wasn't sure. Now I don't need to worry about it, just write the check and be done with it!

  2. I use TaxActOnline to do our taxes, it's what I've used for years without a problem, and once everything was entered they ran an inquiry to see compare how our numbers would add up separate vs. joint. It was handy to see if side-by-side. Of course, I didn't see that little feature until after I did all the input for each of us separately. But now I know!