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The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest

Tax Day

A reminder of one of the downsides of working is today: Tax Day. In the US, income tax filing is required, though like the last two years, I’m filing an extension today. We’ve procrastinated the gathering of all our information, and as a result, our return isn’t ready.

Taxes are a burden, and I’m not sure how inequitable they are in the US. Personally I’m grateful for the opportunities to succeed in the US, and I feel that paying taxes is part of having the opportunity. Even though I don’t necessarily like everything my tax dollars fund, it’s a balancing act, and I think the US does an OK job of using many tax dollars. As with everything, there’s room for improvement.

This is different from tax freedom day, the day on which you’ve been working all year to meet your tax obligations. that was Monday, Apr 13, for most people. After this day, you’re working the rest of the year for yourself!

One thing I will mention is that there are definitely opportunities for IT folks to get some more deductions. Invest in yourself, educate yourself, any money you spend to improve your career, say a personal laptop, should be deductable, so keep track of things and note where you might be able to save a few dollars.

Comments

Posted by nwlibrarian on 15 April 2009

Excellent points. Taxes don’t necessarily bother me, but I will say that in New York State they’re out of control—mainly because of fiscal irresponsibility over the last 15 plus years causing the state to go bankrupt. That aside people who complain about taxes, I have found, often complain about everything and anything under the sun. They’ll complain about taxes, taxes get cut, and then complain that the roads aren’t plowed in the winter just as an example. Or taxes are cut, 2,000 government layoffs result; that’s 2,000 more people on the unemployment line needing government assistance. Is there abuse? Absolutely, but there is such a thing of not wanting to throw the baby out with the bathwater especially in these economically difficult times. For me personally I never comprehend the enjoyment accrued from complaining. To me it’s much preferable to have a job, that I actually like, to pay taxes then to have no job at all.

Posted by Steve Jones on 15 April 2009

I think I've been lucky in VA and CO with relatively good taxes. I have friends that like the no state income tax in FL, but they're property taxes are much higher. CA had high taxes as well, but I didn't make enough money there to be affected :)

I think taxes can get out of control, and it's a balancing act. I'm reading "Team of Rivals" about Abraham Lincoln and in there, at that time, the author says politics was a high calling, and a point of discussion. I sometimes think we're missing out by not having more involvement and debate in the US.

Posted by nwlibrarian on 15 April 2009

I'll give you one more point: I totally agree with you regarding involvement and debate. What worries me is as a culture we're becoming increasingly cemented in our views, and when that happens how can we debate? "You're either with us or against us." Or "It's the wrong way or the right way, and my way is the right way." From politicians to techs—the profession doesn’t matter. We used to be a nation of compromise; now we're a nation of unbending individuals. Articles of Confederation? Constitutional Convention? Bill of Rights? It was all the art of compromise. It has become increasingly less so. As a result I think when people realize this frustration they are less likely to become involved and debate, and that’s the tragedy.

Posted by Steve Jones on 15 April 2009

Yes, yes, yes. We need to be able to agree to disagree. I didn't much like Bush Jr as a President, but I could disagree without thinking he was horrible or evil. And I could admire some things about him. He was resolute.

We have to be able to debate, hmmm, I smell an editorial.

Posted by GilaMonster on 16 April 2009

What's the income tax % over there? Or does it vary from state to state?

One of the nice side effects for me for moving to consulting is a massive reduction in taxes (45%-25%) plus the ability to claim expenses back (which full time employees here don't have)

Posted by Jerry Hung on 16 April 2009

Tax deadline is Apr 30 in Canada, woo hoo

but we don't have "file for extension" here

Just waiting for all the tax slips and get ready to get my tax refund

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