Once again, it's April 15. I've already seen the yearly news coverage of drivers crawling up to the massive Royal Oak, Michigan post office, last-minute returns in hand. I have to go to downtown Royal Oak in a few hours; I may just go down to the post office and watch the fun in person.
Unlike some unemployed people, I TurboTaxed and e-filed my returns the moment I took my former employer's W2 form out of my mailbox. Why? Well, the last several years, I've received a decent refund from the federal government. This year was no different. I even received a modest refund from the state. And of course, being unemployed, I needed the money.
Since I used to work in the city of Detroit, I also had to file nonresident city income tax returns. I owed Detroit the grand total of $2. Which probably paid for a few of the ex-mayor's infamous text messages.
But here's another reason why I'm thinking about taxes today: Unfortunately, unemployment benefits are taxable income (after a certain amount; consult your tax advisor). Here in Michigan, they do give you the choice of having taxes withheld from your biweekly unemployment payments. I am having taxes withheld from mine so I won't be spending April 15, 2010, wondering how I'm going to pay back taxes to the IRS.