If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Washington Post)   A simple analysis of why you shouldn't want a big tax refund each year, as told using marshmallow peeps (video)   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 86
    More: Interesting, tax refunds, Malaysia, April Fool's, Reeva Steenkamp, Oscar Pistorius, Ukraine, Fort Hood  
•       •       •

5074 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Apr 2014 at 6:32 PM (36 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



86 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all
 
2014-04-10 06:06:54 PM  
Because it means you let the government hold onto your money instead of holding it yourself and earning interest on it or investing it?

*watches video*

Ah, I forgot about the possibility of paying down credit card debt because I don't put things on a credit card that I can't immediately pay for.
 
2014-04-10 06:07:04 PM  
FTA "You could use that money for earning dividends from investments in the stock market"

lh5.googleusercontent.com
 
2014-04-10 06:33:39 PM  
However, if you mess up on your calculations, you could end up owing a lot.  And getting penalized for owing a lot.

/I suck at taxes
 
2014-04-10 06:34:55 PM  
There is something disturbing about financial education using peeps. And not just because peeps are disgusting to eat.
 
2014-04-10 06:36:26 PM  

InterruptingQuirk: FTA "You could use that money for earning dividends from investments in the stock market"

[lh5.googleusercontent.com image 512x512]


I'm sorry, you were saying?

www.growinggreenfinancial.com
 
2014-04-10 06:37:17 PM  

Jument: There is something disturbing about financial education using peeps. And not just because peeps are disgusting to eat.


Now, a sex ed course using Peeps would be highly entertaining.
 
2014-04-10 06:39:17 PM  

Delta1212: Because it means you let the government hold onto your money instead of holding it yourself and earning interest on it or investing it?

*watches video*

Ah, I forgot about the possibility of paying down credit card debt because I don't put things on a credit card that I can't immediately pay for.


It's great to be a saint!  I unfortunately just put thousands of dollars on a credit card to make sure my kids get in the summer daycare program that's cheaper than the usual alternatives. Other times it's once a year things like an "earthquake insurance" policy. I wish I could be a saint. Tell me more about how stupid large infrequent billing is my fault.
 
2014-04-10 06:40:16 PM  

InterruptingQuirk: FTA "You could use that money for earning dividends from investments in the stock market"


Hmm. I have a feeling that their idea of a 'large' refund and mine are not the same.
 
2014-04-10 06:40:45 PM  

Delta1212: Because it means you let the government hold onto your money instead of holding it yourself and earning interest on it or investing it?

*watches video*

Ah, I forgot about the possibility of paying down credit card debt because I don't put things on a credit card that I can't immediately pay for.


OK, we're done here.  I dnwtfv, but I expected it was what Delta1212 said first, and agree with what he said second.

Seriously folks: if you're getting a big refund, don't get excited.  It means you screwed up on your withholdings and the government has been collecting the interest you should have earned.  Screwed up doubly because you could have used that money to reduce your existing debt, on which you have also been paying interest all year long; so it's not just money lost, it's money twice lost.  Another form of idiot tax, basically.
 
2014-04-10 06:42:28 PM  

InterruptingQuirk: FTA "You could use that money for earning dividends from investments in the stock market"

[lh5.googleusercontent.com image 512x512]


Agreed.  And yet-- since you've been paying that money to the government, it's money you didn't use for other things anyway.  So actually you can afford to invest.

Penny stocks only, mind you, but hey.
 
2014-04-10 06:43:04 PM  
As someone who just got nailed with a $4K tax bill this year, rest assured I'm paying alot more ahead for 2015. I'd rather have a little less throughout the year than lose my safety net for a couple three months in the spring.
 
2014-04-10 06:43:10 PM  

Jument: There is something disturbing about financial education using peeps. And not just because peeps are disgusting to eat.


BLASPHEMER!
 
2014-04-10 06:44:03 PM  
You used to be able to claim 9 on your W-4, pay 0 in taxes, and then pay it off at the end of the year.  That way you could earn all of the interest on your tax withholdings. Then Uncle Bill (Clinton) came along and ended that practice.  Now you have to pay quarterly estimates and possibly incur penalties for paying too little.  Ahhh the good ol' days...

Fark you Billary!!!
 
2014-04-10 06:44:44 PM  

StopLurkListen: Delta1212: Because it means you let the government hold onto your money instead of holding it yourself and earning interest on it or investing it?

*watches video*

Ah, I forgot about the possibility of paying down credit card debt because I don't put things on a credit card that I can't immediately pay for.

It's great to be a saint!  I unfortunately just put thousands of dollars on a credit card to make sure my kids get in the summer daycare program that's cheaper than the usual alternatives. Other times it's once a year things like an "earthquake insurance" policy. I wish I could be a saint. Tell me more about how stupid large infrequent billing is my fault.


If you can't plan and save for those expenses, you probably can't afford them.

FWIW, earthquake insurance is highly debatable but I see where you live so maybe it makes sense for you. The problem with it is that the deductible is so large that it will only pay for anything in the event of a hugely destructive earthquake. If you live in new construction, a quake strong enough to do that kind of damage is improbable even in CA. Here in WA it's virtually impossible. If my house were to be destroyed in an earthquake, it probably means that I'm dead.
 
2014-04-10 06:46:02 PM  
I filed an extension this year.  Since I'm unemployed, I'm waiting until I have income to file, and the IRS be damned.
 
2014-04-10 06:47:44 PM  

drewogatory: As someone who just got nailed with a $4K tax bill this year, rest assured I'm paying alot more ahead for 2015. I'd rather have a little less throughout the year than lose my safety net for a couple three months in the spring.

Ai chihuahua!

Do you make enough, or have a complicated enough tax structure, that hiring an accountant would help you better calculate your expected tax burden?  Then you wouldn't have to overpay or face a huge whack for underpayment.
 
2014-04-10 06:48:27 PM  

StopLurkListen: Delta1212: Because it means you let the government hold onto your money instead of holding it yourself and earning interest on it or investing it?

*watches video*

Ah, I forgot about the possibility of paying down credit card debt because I don't put things on a credit card that I can't immediately pay for.

It's great to be a saint!  I unfortunately just put thousands of dollars on a credit card to make sure my kids get in the summer daycare program that's cheaper than the usual alternatives. Other times it's once a year things like an "earthquake insurance" policy. I wish I could be a saint. Tell me more about how stupid large infrequent billing is my fault.


I pay my large, infrequent bills using money that I set aside for them through the year.

// car insurance
// property taxes for san diego
// property taxes for orange county
// condo + earthquake insurance
// server hosting
// HOA fees for co-op

etc
 
2014-04-10 06:50:47 PM  

StopLurkListen: Delta1212: Because it means you let the government hold onto your money instead of holding it yourself and earning interest on it or investing it?

*watches video*

Ah, I forgot about the possibility of paying down credit card debt because I don't put things on a credit card that I can't immediately pay for.

It's great to be a saint!  I unfortunately just put thousands of dollars on a credit card to make sure my kids get in the summer daycare program that's cheaper than the usual alternatives. Other times it's once a year things like an "earthquake insurance" policy. I wish I could be a saint. Tell me more about how stupid large infrequent billing is my fault.


Instead of paying "back" at credit, use the same money to save ahead and pay in full when it's due?
 
2014-04-10 06:51:37 PM  

Nuclear Monk: However, if you mess up on your calculations, you could end up owing a lot.  And getting penalized for owing a lot.

/I suck at taxes


I do as well.

I'll take the refund, but it is getting smaller every year as I make more money and less of my mortgage payment goes to interest each year.

I usually owe the state though.
 
2014-04-10 06:53:09 PM  

Uzzah: InterruptingQuirk: FTA "You could use that money for earning dividends from investments in the stock market"

[lh5.googleusercontent.com image 512x512]

I'm sorry, you were saying?

[www.growinggreenfinancial.com image 850x442]


I doubt the average investor puts enough money in stocks to get a worthwhile return via dividends.
 
2014-04-10 06:53:13 PM  

Jument: StopLurkListen: Delta1212: Because it means you let the government hold onto your money instead of holding it yourself and earning interest on it or investing it?

*watches video*

Ah, I forgot about the possibility of paying down credit card debt because I don't put things on a credit card that I can't immediately pay for.

It's great to be a saint!  I unfortunately just put thousands of dollars on a credit card to make sure my kids get in the summer daycare program that's cheaper than the usual alternatives. Other times it's once a year things like an "earthquake insurance" policy. I wish I could be a saint. Tell me more about how stupid large infrequent billing is my fault.

If you can't plan and save for those expenses, you probably can't afford them.


Thanks for telling me I can't afford children.
 
2014-04-10 06:59:37 PM  
Wow, I had no idea that I could put that money into my savings account instead of letting the government hold it. I would have earned almost $0.37 in interest over the year too! Damn government! If I had only known about this money-saving scheme years ago, I'd have enough money to buy a used DVD by now!!
 
2014-04-10 07:00:09 PM  

StopLurkListen: Jument: StopLurkListen: Delta1212: Because it means you let the government hold onto your money instead of holding it yourself and earning interest on it or investing it?

*watches video*

Ah, I forgot about the possibility of paying down credit card debt because I don't put things on a credit card that I can't immediately pay for.

It's great to be a saint!  I unfortunately just put thousands of dollars on a credit card to make sure my kids get in the summer daycare program that's cheaper than the usual alternatives. Other times it's once a year things like an "earthquake insurance" policy. I wish I could be a saint. Tell me more about how stupid large infrequent billing is my fault.

If you can't plan and save for those expenses, you probably can't afford them.

Thanks for telling me I can't afford children.


You're welcome. Medical experiments for the lot of them!
 
2014-04-10 07:07:34 PM  

Jument: You're welcome. Medical experiments for the lot of them!


Ha!  Haven't seen that movie since I was eight and my parents and I sat in stunned silence for the entire movie ... on the drive home the only thing my mom said was "you are never picking the movie again" to my dad ...
 
2014-04-10 07:07:40 PM  

StopLurkListen: Jument: StopLurkListen: Delta1212: Because it means you let the government hold onto your money instead of holding it yourself and earning interest on it or investing it?

*watches video*

Ah, I forgot about the possibility of paying down credit card debt because I don't put things on a credit card that I can't immediately pay for.

It's great to be a saint!  I unfortunately just put thousands of dollars on a credit card to make sure my kids get in the summer daycare program that's cheaper than the usual alternatives. Other times it's once a year things like an "earthquake insurance" policy. I wish I could be a saint. Tell me more about how stupid large infrequent billing is my fault.

If you can't plan and save for those expenses, you probably can't afford them.

Thanks for telling me I can't afford children.


He didn't tell anyone that. You did. While crying about how someone else who can afford their lifestyle is acting like a "saint". Also while making sure to note it's not your fault, of course.

/I don't think making logical financial choices makes you a saint but I'm not really religious
 
2014-04-10 07:08:26 PM  

mod3072: Wow, I had no idea that I could put that money into my savings account instead of letting the government hold it. I would have earned almost $0.37 in interest over the year too! Damn government! If I had only known about this money-saving scheme years ago, I'd have enough money to buy a used DVD by now!!


Exactly.  At current interest rates I wouldn't have made enough money to bother.  And if I'd invested in the stock market to get some reasonable returns, after brokerage fees I'd end up in about the same place.  My take away from this was that I really want to eat some peeps right now.
 
2014-04-10 07:08:52 PM  
Interest? Yeah.

What's the interest on that minimal amount of money? Even it's $100 a month you're saving, the interest would probably be less than $1 a month. Wow, you made $12. Awesome.
 
2014-04-10 07:09:46 PM  
A few years ago, I had a big check coming.  Told the company my tax bracket and state of residence.  They somehow managed to underpay the state by thousands and overpay the feds by even more.  It was farking ridiculous.  Why did they even request the information if they didn't know what to do with it?  I could understand if they overpaid or underpaid both but how do you overpay one and underpay the other using the same information to calculate withholdings?  And not by a hundred bucks.  It's like they had a blind chimp throw darts at a board of numbers.
 
2014-04-10 07:12:21 PM  

debug: Interest? Yeah.

What's the interest on that minimal amount of money? Even it's $100 a month you're saving, the interest would probably be less than $1 a month. Wow, you made $12. Awesome.


I would rather have a non zero amount of free money than zero free money but maybe that's just me.

It may be only pennies to you today but in the future when you grow up, there will (hopefully, for you) be more money at stake. Good habits now will translate into greater rewards later. If you want until later to start being smart, you will find that later may never arrive.
 
2014-04-10 07:14:41 PM  

mod3072: Wow, I had no idea that I could put that money into my savings account instead of letting the government hold it. I would have earned almost $0.37 in interest over the year too! Damn government! If I had only known about this money-saving scheme years ago, I'd have enough money to buy a used DVD by now!!


I made about as much interest on a savings account this year as I did when I was 12.  I think that account topped out a little over $200.  Then I petty much wiped it out buying a used 19" color TV.
 
2014-04-10 07:16:45 PM  

Jument: debug: Interest? Yeah.

What's the interest on that minimal amount of money? Even it's $100 a month you're saving, the interest would probably be less than $1 a month. Wow, you made $12. Awesome.

I would rather have a non zero amount of free money than zero free money but maybe that's just me.

It may be only pennies to you today but in the future when you grow up, there will (hopefully, for you) be more money at stake. Good habits now will translate into greater rewards later. If you want until later to start being smart, you will find that later may never arrive.


I'm 41, own my own house and have no credit card debit. Trying to guess what the right withholding is to not owe additional or get a refund is not worth the hassle of tens of dollars made in interest.

When you grow up, you'll realize that some things aren't worth the time or hassle just for a few dollars. I've better things to do with my time.
 
2014-04-10 07:22:49 PM  
Maybe they could come up with a more better tax system so people didn't have to play guessing games with withholdings.
 
2014-04-10 07:24:07 PM  
Stupid IRS... My wife and I both claimed 0 allowances on our W4s.  However, apparently our combined incomes bumped us up just into the next bracket, and we still got slapped with a $3000 bill.

And this comes literally a month after we obliterated two years' worth of savings to adopt a baby, money which will not be even partially recovered until tax time next year because of the labyrinthine rules of the adoption tax credit.  Despite ordinarily having enough income to live comfortably with no debt other than car and house loans, we're having to seriously consider "creative" ways of paying that bill to make sure we can make it through the next few months without defaulting on everything else.

F*** the IRS!
 
2014-04-10 07:24:51 PM  
I prefer to be as close to 0 as possible when I file taxes.
 
2014-04-10 07:25:41 PM  

Uzzah: InterruptingQuirk: FTA "You could use that money for earning dividends from investments in the stock market"

[lh5.googleusercontent.com image 512x512]

I'm sorry, you were saying?

[www.growinggreenfinancial.com image 850x442]


I think Calvin there was laughing at the thought that people who use 'forced savings accounts' like IRS-related withholding would actually invest in anything significant if they were to have the money in their pocket instead.
 
2014-04-10 07:26:31 PM  

debug: Jument: debug: Interest? Yeah.

What's the interest on that minimal amount of money? Even it's $100 a month you're saving, the interest would probably be less than $1 a month. Wow, you made $12. Awesome.

I would rather have a non zero amount of free money than zero free money but maybe that's just me.

It may be only pennies to you today but in the future when you grow up, there will (hopefully, for you) be more money at stake. Good habits now will translate into greater rewards later. If you want until later to start being smart, you will find that later may never arrive.

I'm 41, own my own house and have no credit card debit. Trying to guess what the right withholding is to not owe additional or get a refund is not worth the hassle of tens of dollars made in interest.

When you grow up, you'll realize that some things aren't worth the time or hassle just for a few dollars. I've better things to do with my time.


imgs.xkcd.com
 
2014-04-10 07:27:31 PM  

brimed03: Delta1212: Because it means you let the government hold onto your money instead of holding it yourself and earning interest on it or investing it?

*watches video*

Ah, I forgot about the possibility of paying down credit card debt because I don't put things on a credit card that I can't immediately pay for.

OK, we're done here.  I dnwtfv, but I expected it was what Delta1212 said first, and agree with what he said second.

Seriously folks: if you're getting a big refund, don't get excited.  It means you screwed up on your withholdings and the government has been collecting the interest you should have earned.  Screwed up doubly because you could have used that money to reduce your existing debt, on which you have also been paying interest all year long; so it's not just money lost, it's money twice lost.  Another form of idiot tax, basically.


That's the kind of greedy talk i'd expect from a republican.

You should let the gov't get the interest on that money to feed the poor, clothe the homeless, pay for medical care for the poor honest illegal aliens and stop global warming.
 
2014-04-10 07:29:42 PM  

Paka Ono: You used to be able to claim 9 on your W-4, pay 0 in taxes, and then pay it off at the end of the year.  That way you could earn all of the interest on your tax withholdings. Then Uncle Bill (Clinton) came along and ended that practice.  Now you have to pay quarterly estimates and possibly incur penalties for paying too little.  Ahhh the good ol' days...

Fark you Billary!!!


People hail Clinton as this great president, I guess because for his last term the economy was great, but he really did a hell of a lot of damage while in office.
 
2014-04-10 07:33:32 PM  

SpacemanSpoof: Stupid IRS... My wife and I both claimed 0 allowances on our W4s.  However, apparently our combined incomes bumped us up just into the next bracket, and we still got slapped with a $3000 bill.

And this comes literally a month after we obliterated two years' worth of savings to adopt a baby, money which will not be even partially recovered until tax time next year because of the labyrinthine rules of the adoption tax credit.  Despite ordinarily having enough income to live comfortably with no debt other than car and house loans, we're having to seriously consider "creative" ways of paying that bill to make sure we can make it through the next few months without defaulting on everything else.

F*** the IRS!


I found a way to beat the system.  It's not for everyone but here it is:  Have no income.

It's as simple as that.  They can't tax your income if you don't have any.  :)
 
2014-04-10 07:35:28 PM  

InterruptingQuirk: FTA "You could use that money for earning dividends from investments in the stock market"

[lh5.googleusercontent.com image 512x512]


stopped watching right there.

what kind of farking stock will they give me for 6 peeps? nothing!
 
2014-04-10 07:35:34 PM  

debug: Interest? Yeah.

What's the interest on that minimal amount of money? Even it's $100 a month you're saving, the interest would probably be less than $1 a month. Wow, you made $12. Awesome.


I don't know about you but ~$1400 a month isn't a minimal amount of money.
 
2014-04-10 07:39:00 PM  

SpacemanSpoof: Stupid IRS... My wife and I both claimed 0 allowances on our W4s. However, apparently our combined incomes bumped us up just into the next bracket, and we still got slapped with a $3000 bill.


You only pay the rates in the next bracket on income that is above that bracket.
 
2014-04-10 07:40:34 PM  
I have a friend who is a CEO. From what he tells me this article is ignoring the psychology of many people who decide to have less money taken out of their taxes. The money is not spent on reducing debt or gaining interest. It is rather spent as "I have more money I can buy X now."  And when they miss on their withholding estimate they get traumatized about the sudden tax bill(s) they owe on. This stuff usually works against these fiscal wizards.
 
2014-04-10 07:43:41 PM  

lordargent: StopLurkListen: Delta1212: Because it means you let the government hold onto your money instead of holding it yourself and earning interest on it or investing it?

*watches video*

Ah, I forgot about the possibility of paying down credit card debt because I don't put things on a credit card that I can't immediately pay for.

It's great to be a saint!  I unfortunately just put thousands of dollars on a credit card to make sure my kids get in the summer daycare program that's cheaper than the usual alternatives. Other times it's once a year things like an "earthquake insurance" policy. I wish I could be a saint. Tell me more about how stupid large infrequent billing is my fault.

I pay my large, infrequent bills using money that I set aside for them through the year.

// car insurance
// property taxes for san diego
// property taxes for orange county
// condo + earthquake insurance
// server hosting
// HOA fees for co-op

etc


Yeah, but sometimes, people run out of green.

*chortle*
 
2014-04-10 07:45:56 PM  

DreamSnipers: I have a friend who is a CEO. From what he tells me this article is ignoring the psychology of many people who decide to have less money taken out of their taxes. The money is not spent on reducing debt or gaining interest. It is rather spent as "I have more money I can buy X now."  And when they miss on their withholding estimate they get traumatized about the sudden tax bill(s) they owe on. This stuff usually works against these fiscal wizards.


This.

And I don't condemn those folks, either.  The psychology of money is often more important than what the numbers show, so the "loss" of $12 of interest is well worth it if it prevents the taxpayer from blowing his $1000 refund on various impulse buys over the year.

/go dave ramsey!
 
2014-04-10 07:52:21 PM  
I have to make estimated payments this year, as my new job doesn't have withholding. Paying all your taxes for three months in one check is scurry.
 
2014-04-10 07:55:37 PM  

StopLurkListen: Delta1212: Because it means you let the government hold onto your money instead of holding it yourself and earning interest on it or investing it?

*watches video*

Ah, I forgot about the possibility of paying down credit card debt because I don't put things on a credit card that I can't immediately pay for.

It's great to be a saint!  I unfortunately just put thousands of dollars on a credit card to make sure my kids get in the summer daycare program that's cheaper than the usual alternatives. Other times it's once a year things like an "earthquake insurance" policy. I wish I could be a saint. Tell me more about how stupid large infrequent billing is my fault.


Way to go having kids that you can't afford?

Guess your koch wrote a check your job can't cash.
 
2014-04-10 07:58:34 PM  

DrewCurtisJr: SpacemanSpoof: Stupid IRS... My wife and I both claimed 0 allowances on our W4s. However, apparently our combined incomes bumped us up just into the next bracket, and we still got slapped with a $3000 bill.

You only pay the rates in the next bracket on income that is above that bracket.


Yep. One of the two of you made ~$12,000 more this year than you did last year, or you lost a huge deduction this year that you took last year. Or one (or both) of you paid a good chunk above your withholding in taxes last year and this is the first year you're filing jointly, so now the other person is seeing it too.

Marginal tax rates, how do they work?
 
2014-04-10 08:02:56 PM  
Just got a $13k refund, and I was quite pleased.  I do use a card, but just to get mileage and it's paid off every month.  I get paid about half my income in four large commission checks which are always taxed weird and at a higher rate so there isn't too much I can do about it.  I did change my witholdings but getting a big refund is the easiest way to grow my savings, much easier to drop that in there than save a monthly stipend.

/also I like to spend half and save half
//here comes an outdoor fireplace
 
2014-04-10 08:07:01 PM  
Some poeple don't have the discipline required to not spend money they already have. For those people, being able to admit this and account for it by having uncle sam hold onto is actually good problem solving. Often, the amount of discipline required in order to save varies with the amount of dispoable income you have. For example, it's a lot easier to have the discipline to save when you make enough money to meet your basic needs and then some. However, if you get excited when you have money to buy necessities, it takes a lot more discipline. These factos can be further complicated when a couple shares money. You're less likely to argue about whether a particular expense is a want or a need when the government is holding onto the money you'd be spending on it. Finally, the "right" thing to do with your money isn't always the most mathematically efficient thing to do. For example, if I have $10k in the bank and $5k in credit card debt and I want to buy a house next year, I could save money by paying off the debt and not incurring interest charges on it. However, if I need $20k to put down on the house, the $5k cash is more valuable to me as cash than as $6,000 ($5000 + 1000 interest I'm going to pay on it).
 
Displayed 50 of 86 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
On Twitter





In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report