Wednesday, 09 February 2005, 7:57:26 EST
Monday evening I sat down and did my tax returns instead of homework. I did it all through http://www.statetaxfreedom.com/ because, since I am poor, it did not cost anything to electronically file my federal return nor my state return. Basically, Intuit, the company that produces the TurboTax and Quicken software products, donates their web based TurboTax services to people like me who just need to get the stuff done and can't really afford to pay someone to do it for them. It turns out that I will be getting a rather nice return this year, mostly because I bought a new vehicle in 2004.
What is wrong with getting a good tax return? I start thinking of ways to spend it. The smart thing for me to do would be to use the return to take a year off of my car loan. However, as I have stated before, I am really interested in getting an Apple Powerbook. Recently, Apple updated the Powerbook line by increasing the memory, upping the hard drive, adding some extra features, and lowering the price. Three days before they updated them I priced the cheaper version of the 15" at about $2,300 with a student discount and the Apple Care service plan. The day they updated the Powerbook line I priced the more expensive 15", with one further upgrade, at about $2,100 with a student discount and no Apple Care service plan. With the tax return that will be deposited in my bank account in a couple of weeks I could pay for more than half of the price of the Powerbook.
In an effort to make a more informed decision, I decided to read the Apple Care service plan and compare it with Dell's Complete Care service plan (the links are to the PDFs for each plan). Read Dell's plan; in particular, read section 2 subsection A and the prices for laptops on page seven. Now, read Apple's plan. The important part of their plan is section 2, subsection E, part ii. Apple's plan costs $239. They must be kidding if they think I am going to pay them that amount of money for that lame contract.
Any way, I still haven't decided what I want to do. There is a third option that I could do which would make next year's tax season an even bigger headache — investing half of it in the stock market and depositing the other half in a savings account. I am not sure I have the time to do that correctly though. Plus, if I was confused with my taxes this year I would definitely be lost next time if I decide to do that. Why don't we have a simpler tax system?