Home > 2014 > Personal Finance

A Brief Chat With a Tax Avoider

Advertiser Disclosure Comments 0 Comments

Vanessa is a person who loathes tax season.

LOGAN: We’re approaching a very painful time of year for you.

VANESSA: I don’t like to talk about it.

Ha, I know. But you said that you would, with me, just this once.

To help people.

Right, to help people. Because it’s important that people know they’re not alone, in their fear of taxes.

It’s not a fear, it’s more like a natural reaction to one of the most terrible things invented by man. And I hate that word, please don’t say it.


Yes. That word.

Describe the feeling that you get when I say “taxes.”

Revulsion. Terror. Rage. My stomach drops, my heart beats faster. I taste bile.

Would you call it a “trigger word”?

Yes. Yes. It is a legitimate trigger word and I don’t understand how some people can just drop it into normal conversation. Totally inappropriate.

Well you know for some people, the t-word means a refund.

Well good for them, you know? But have a little respect, a little awareness that not everyone is as lucky as you in this world. People ask about how your filing is going like they’re asking about the weather. Disgusting.

What exactly is your relationship with the IRS? I’m sorry to ask this but I think it’s important.

We don’t have a litigious relationship yet but we may be headed there, I don’t know. That’s in their hands. I’ve been freelance for the past five years, which means my checks don’t come with taxes taken out, and I’m supposed to pay “estimated taxes” four times a year, which I have not ever done once because I don’t have enough money to do that. It’s not an option.

So have you just … never paid taxes?

The first couple years I didn’t make much money, I was living at home so it was OK, and I owed, I don’t know, $1,000 each year, and put it on a credit card. So that was fine. And then the third year I made more money and when I filed I owed several thousand dollars that I put on a payment plan. And then … I can’t tell you how much I hate talking about this or thinking about this or being reminded of this. This little chat has ruined my day.

OK. so you paid some taxes and then you haven’t paid some taxes, basically. You need to pay a lot of taxes.

Yeah, so I pay a monthly payment towards the 2011 amount, and I’ve been ignoring all inquiries about when I’m going to pay my 2012 amount, and if I even think about my 2013 amount I’m going to owe, I’m going to have to get up from this table and find a receptacle to vomit in.

Do you have a plan?

Yeah, the same plan everyone in dire financial straits has, to get a really good job or win the lottery and pay it all off and never think of it again.

I’m familiar with that plan.

I know you are, and frankly I don’t understand why you even wanted to have this conversation. I’ve seen you flinch when a TurboTax email alert pops up on your phone. You can’t delete that (stuff) fast enough.

You are right. You’re right. But I’m glad to know we’re in this nightmare together. 

Yeah and the more of us there are, the slimmer our chances of being audited. At least that’s what helps me sleep at night.

This post originally appeared on The Billfold.

More from The Billfold:

Image: iStock

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other articles on Credit.com News & Advice may also be offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards or products. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Our Owners

Credit.com is owned by Progrexion Holdings Inc. which is the owner and administrator of a number of business related to credit and credit repair, including CreditRepair.com, and eFolks. In addition, Progrexion also provides services to Lexington Law Firm as a third party provider. Despite being owned by Progrexion, it is not the role of the Credit.com editorial team to advocate the use of the company’s other services. In articles, reporters may mention credit repair as an option, for example, but we’ll also be sure to note the various alternatives to that service. Furthermore, you may see ads for credit repair services on Credit.com, but the editorial team isn’t responsible for the creation or implementation of those ads, anymore than reporters for the New York Times or Washington Post are responsible for the ads on their sites.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team