You know how I feel about taxes? Yes. Yes, you do.
I've always done our taxes. With a degree in finance, I had no excuse not to. But when we moved to Virginia almost eleven years ago, our situation became more complicated. We had five kids, one in college, a rental home in another state, and then I started doing freelance work from home. So we decided to hire someone to do the deed for us. Being new to the area, we didn't know who to go to, so we asked for and got a recommendation.
S was probably in her sixties when we first met her, but many years of smoking made her seem closer to ninety. Every time she coughed we feared it would be her last, and every year, the ceiling and walls of her office were noticeably darker with nicotine. For the last three or four years, we were dumbstruck that we could owe the government money. We had two, sometimes three kids in college, Ben or I or both of us were taking classes at the master's level, we showed a loss on our rental home, had the max withheld, etc.
Finally in the spring of 2014 a co-worker got sick of listening to Ben complain and recommended someone else. So we took our last year's tax return and went to meet J, our new accountant.
Did you know there is a huge difference between a tax preparer and a certified public accountant?
Turns out there's about a $10,000 difference, that being the amount we overpaid for the last three years. So we stashed that money in a savings account and forgot about it, thinking it would probably go toward a downpayment on land in North Carolina.
Let me stop here and quote a verse. "And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear" (Isaiah 65:24).
That $10,000 was an answer to a need we didn't even know we had.
When it came time to file a tax return for 2014, we knew we were in trouble. Too much income, sale of the rental house, only one kid in college, and down to one dependent. The only way we could get out of paying an outrageous sum in taxes was to put the maximum in an IRA, and guess what—there it was, right where the Lord left it.
He provided before we knew the need. My God is wonderful.