As a freelancer, I pay a lot in taxes. I’m not complaining. I’m just stating a fact. I’m used to writing out a sizable check each quarter and sending it off in the hopes that April doesn’t come around and put a dent in my savings.
Of course, if it does, that means the quarterly estimates based upon the previous year’s earnings were too low. Which means I made more money than the year before. Which, generally, is awesome.
I’m always, always nervous about tax stuff. Probably because I don’t understand it (which is why I don’t like clowns. Are you happy? Sad? I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY YOU ARE SMILING BUT HAVE A TEAR DROP COMING DOWN YOUR FACE). But we’re big rule followers, and our accountant seems to have a reasonable grasp of how the tax stuff works, so I can generally keep myself from getting too worked up.
Except for when I get a bill in the mail from the IRS for TWENTY SEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. For those of you who are more numbers than words, that’s $27,000.
In case it’s not obvious, we do not make the kind of money that would ever put us in a position to owe $27,000 after paying quarterly taxes all year. Or even without paying quarterly taxes all year, really.
But in the moment of reading this letter, as I walked back from the mailbox, all I could think was ZOMG TWENTY SEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS!?! WE’LL NEVER DO ANYTHING FUN AGAIN. EVER.
And then I started hyperventilating. And getting dizzy. And sitting down, then standing up, then sitting down, then standing up, then leaning against walls and yelling, “TWENTY SEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS?!?”
Fortunately, Jared retained his reading comprehension skills and realized that a 1099 we’d submitted in 2010 for $600 had been read as $60,000. And you’re damn right we didn’t pay taxes on $59,400 ON TOP OF what we made that year. Nope. That’s a few too many zeros for me.
The situation is getting squared away, and I’m breathing (mostly) normally again. But I will never, ever open a bulky letter from the IRS again without a fainting couch very near.