Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Getting Housed By The Bush Tax Code

Seriously ya'll, I'm a 28-year-old public school teacher with a bucket-full of deductible expenses and I'm not within shouting distance of a tax refund. I am, in fact, currently facing substantial tax debt as a result of limping into a "higher" tax bracket last year. That's what I get for receiving compensation for my off-contract time and skills. All you summer training institute attendees, all you workshop participants, all you teaching as leadership professional learning community members, you brought me to this.

Thanks a bunch.

The final bill has me owing an amount equal to 69% of my monthly take-home pay. I hate almost everything right now.


Blogger Mr. Moses said...

Same thing happened to me last year. I took a consulting job for a start-up charter school and built their website. Almost ended up paying in because I took on an extra gig. I'm staring down that same barrel looking at a few new consulting and web-design jobs. Ugh.

9:39 PM  
Blogger KauaiMark said...

"...Getting Housed"

From the title, I thought you might be getting one of those foreclosed houses on the market

10:51 PM  
Blogger TMAO said...

The more apt metaphor is fantastically unbloggable.

10:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't decide on whether to ignore this because of the posting date, or to put on my geezer hat and tell you young kids that "you have it so good today." Better still you can wait a couple of years until the "bad old" Bush tax breaks expire and former tax rates return.

9:47 AM  
Blogger TMAO said...

Guess we'll just have to see.

10:31 PM  
Anonymous Dina said...

Good god, TMAO. Summers off, a vacation every month, practically-- I find your whining distasteful in the extreme. Next thing, you'll be saying teachers need commensurate salaries to the national middle class median or something.

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Myth: a higher tax bracket applies to all your earnings so earning more can actually earn you less.

Fact: the higher percentage applies only to the earnings above the ceiling of the bracket below.

Example: Assume a 10% tax rate up to 40k. You earn an extra 10k, putting you "into" the 20% bracket. The 20% applies only to the amount above the bracket cutoff. Your taxes are $2000 on the first 40k and $2000 on the extra 10k.

I consider it one of my missions in life to squelch this misunderstanding whenever it comes up. :) --Midlife Teacher in Training (and former economist)

8:00 AM  
Blogger TMAO said...


It's the way deductible expenses are affected by the rise into a higher bracket. I cannot deduct interest paid on my student loans (of which there was much). I cannot deduct the entirity of my silly Masters endeavor, and the leftover amount from my Americorps stipend therefore turns into even more (untaxed) income. It's stuff like that as much as the additional tax rate on new dollars.

11:35 PM  
Blogger Hall_Monitor said...

Check out http://detentionslip.org for all the latest headlines in education. It's one of the leading sources for breaking news in our public schools.

8:13 PM  
Anonymous helena said...

I like your blog and would like to invite you, to join ‘Teachers Planet’: http://teachersplanet.ning.com/

It is an online community for teachers of all levels and curriculum areas.Your visit to the network will provide an opportunity for you to share your expertise with our teachers.At teachers planet you can start your own groups, start/participate in a discussion/ forum, add videos, music, RSS feeds, start blogs and do many more things.

Thank you for your time and consideration

11:24 PM  
Blogger Daryl Surat said...

On the bright side, there's one thing you shouldn't hate: the fact that you've upgraded your hairstyle to match mine.

Truly a commendable choice. This whole teaching thing you've got going is a close second, though.

8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my district, I've had plenty of opportunities to take on extra gigs for extra pay. However, getting an invoice stamped by all the right folks requires an absurdly complicated Dr. Seussian machine-like process ... on average, I get paid 4 months after submitting, but even more concerning is that I never really know when that check is coming, so I can't plan accordingly. And, quite honestly, it's just not as motivating to dive into the next supplemental project without knowing when I'll see my pay. I recently delivered a workshop for an outside agency and got my check within a week. You can bet I'll agree to do another workshop for that agency in a heartbeat, although I'm not so fast to accept the offers from own district these days.

My point? To keep employees who are willing and able to provide extra services in the public school system, we need procedures and policies that reward their extra services equitably and efficiently.

11:13 AM  

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