Monday, April 17, 2017

Teenager Taxes

I sometimes interact with people who say they're doing their kids' taxes. Whenever I ask, it turns out that they're NOT kids. They're adults, 18 or older, and in college. If you're old enough to vote, I say you're old enough to do your own taxes, without Mommy's help.

I can understand a parent trying to help out their kids, because the kids are busy. With me, it was different. Dad figured I was too stupid to do taxes on my own, so he took my tax forms and filled them out for me. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Dad!

So, yeah, I was also the college kid who didn't know how to do taxes, because I wasn't allowed to. I'm mad about that, because it made me completely unprepared for real life. To make things worse, my teenager taxes were easy. Literally. I would have done Form 1040 EZ. "EZ" for "easy", because it's about a third as long and cuts out the tough stuff that doesn't apply, like stocks, dependents, etc. 15-year-old Michael should have been given that and told to do his taxes. He totally could have figured it out in under a half hour.

I can't use the 1040-EZ anymore, because I get YouTube money, and I'm partnered with a Canadian network, so it's foreign-filtered self-employment income. It's about as complicated as it sounds.

Well, I'm going to learn from my parents' mistakes. Rosie and Mary are doing their own taxes, as soon as they start making money. Which is now, actually. Mary's YouTube channel has made about ten cents. Not enough to meet a filing requirement, but it might be best to have her do the simple tax return now, just for practice.

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