(burned) taxed out! … it’s the season?

Our federal taxes are pretty straightforward. Fill out the numbers and
break about even or get a little return.

State taxes are new to us,
but shouldn’t be too bad, should it? Quick referencing we already paid nearly a
1/3rd over what’s listed in the state income tax table. Not a bad prospect, I
thought …

Start with the federal income, minus reduced adjustments
(one of which totally unfair), minus lower state credits & deductions,
calculate a ratio Maine / non- Maine source for out of state credit and when you
bring it all together, you owe even more. Huh? Try again. Ouch!

I
spoke with a state tax office representative. Of course that conversation did
not clear any of the confusion & frustration. It boiled down to: You cannot
look at the state income table (x state income => y state tax). Maine treats
everybody equal so it starts with the federal gross income which determines your
Maine gross income and through the calculated out of state credit ratio you are
not paying taxes on your out of state income … etc.

It sounds
right, but something is amiss. X state income, Y state taxes already paid (of
which Z too much), insert state deduction => you should get something back,
not owe more than what’s already withheld.

The only sensible thing
I can come up with is that – where we break about even federally – state wise
we do not and thus have to pay up. It reminds me of Belgium. Every year I had to
pay up 1 month’s net income in extra taxes (on top of the 50% that was already
withheld to start with) because alone I couldn’t afford a house, lived too close
to work (10 miles) for it to be deductible … and … procreation by yourself
is not exactly feasible.

Joe taxpayer
… I’d rather be
windsurfing! Or skiing! Or snowboarding! ;)

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