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Sometimes I wonder if I am the only person in the world that has a love/hate relationship with taxes. I love the refund I get, but I REALLY hate doing all the paperwork to get to that point. I know everyone says that if you get a large refund you are giving the government an interest-free loan. True. However, I think we do have our numbers set correctly for dependents and such, but we take advantage of our giving ability and business deductions.

Take my web design business for example. I don’t make a lot of money with it, but last year was less than average because all my clients’ businesses were hurting. If they didn’t have the money, they didn’t do much to their website. The beauty of my web design business is that I don’t have much overhead. I do the work and then I get paid. The product is in the computer. Last year, I had major issues with the laptop I used for designing.

It crashed! Big time!

I was able to fix the problem after a large expense of getting the information off the hard drive, but then I started seeing the same issues pop up that happened before the “big crash”. I realized it was time to upgrade my computer. On December 31st, I went out and purchased a new desktop. Perfect for holding all the designing programs that I need. Why did I buy it on the last day of the year? Well, I knew I needed to replace my laptop and it is a business expense for Tax year 2009. I’m pretty sure with my small income and that large purchase; I’ll be seeing some money in my tax refund.

What about charity?

We not only give to our church, but we donate a LOT of clothing and household items throughout the year. Right before Christmas, I went through and cleaned out my closet. The last week of December I stopped by Goodwill and dropped it all off. I have estimated that I donate about $300 worth of clothing and goods every year. I’m sure it’s probably worth more, but I try to be conservative in my estimates.

So as the end of January looms ahead, I am beginning to get the paper work ready for my three hour stint with TurboTax.

Yes. I said three hours!

Hey, that’s not too bad considering it used to take me six.