Why it’s good to owe the government some money on your income taxes

It’s tax time. It’s the time of year when people brag about the amount of money they’re getting from the government… It’s as if they won the lottery! “I’m getting back $XXXX.XX” or “my income tax check just arrived in the mail and I’m going to spend it on [something nice]!!!”

This drives me crazy.

It’s not a windfall, people! It’s not the lottery. It’s not new money.

It’s YOUR money and you’re just getting it BACK from the government. You’re getting it back because you over-paid your taxes earlier in the year and basically gave the government a long-term, interest-free loan.

So that big check you’re getting could have been spent elsewhere, earlier; or it could have been invested to earn even more money.

The perfect income tax return is one in which you owe/receive absolutely nothing. The second-best income tax return is one in which you owe money. The worst kind of tax return (and, ironically, the most favored) is the one where you get money back.

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