So, this is my second year doing my income taxes… well, my second year since college. I hired it out my first year of working, my first year of marriage, and my first two years of home ownership.
Well, this past year I’ve purchased and sold stock. That has turned out to be a pretty trivial matter of filling out a Schedule D. However, what hasn’t been a trivial matter is the Schedule C (small business) and Schedule SE (self-employment tax) I have to fill out. I am teaching an Algebra 2 class for some homeschoolers and made a little less than $900.
Now, that $900 covers 15 weeks of teaching. I spend about 6 hours a week either lecturing, preparing for class, or grading papers. So my hourly pay, if you will, comes out to about $10/hour. That is before making copies, purchasing my curriculum, and other supplies. These stupid little IRS forms, worded as confusing as possible, are such a discouragement to do my own taxes… let alone to take little jobs like this teaching job.
One other IRS gem…
On page A-7 of the 1040 instruction manual you’ll find a wonderful column discussing the itemization of gifts to charity. Get this… not only can you deduct for organizations that are religious, charitable, etc. but if you are a certain whaling captain you “may be able to deduct expenses paid in 2007 for Native Alaskan subsistence bowhead whale hunting activities.” That is the third sentence of a page-long description concerning charitable giving. They are paying people, with our tax money, to write this stuff! Our congressmen are passing laws giving deductions for whaling captains!
Now, I’m not casting aspersions on whaling captains here… but if the tax code is requiring our congressmen to pass laws concerning the minutiae of deductions for whaling captains, then it is time for a new tax code.