Neil's News

Vet Tax

9 March 2007

It just clicked. Here in the US a "vet" usually refers to an ex-soldier, not an animal doctor. For some time I have been mildly perplexed at the number of news headlines about wounded vets. I had this image of heroic people putting their lives on the line to assist animals in need. Guess it's the Brit in me.

It's tax time. Yay! Since my situation is somewhat complicated, I contacted an accountant to help navigate the systems. She looked at the details, then turned me down. As did the next one. And the next. I've been rejected outright by five CPAs and two never called back. Apparently I'm the worst case scenario. So I guess I'll have to do it all myself. Fun.

Normally I don't really care about minimizing my taxes, since the bulk of it goes to Good Stuff.[1][2] But I'm not in Canada or Britain any more; in the US the bulk of it goes to Bad Stuff.[3]

Update: I'm having second thoughts about the accuracy of the pie chart in [3]. While they certainly have a point that lots of military spending is hidden, one item caught my eye. They list NASA's budget as being 50% on behalf of the military. That's completely wrong. The US military bailed on NASA in the late 80s after the space shuttle proved to be incapable of delivering on its promises. Granted, that one line item is tiny and wouldn't change the pie chart much. But if the one line item which I know about is wrong, it makes me wonder about the quality of the rest of their data. You know what they say; 78% of statistics are made up on the spot.

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