87 thoughts I had while doing my taxes.

1. Ugh.

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2. Ugh ugh ugh.

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3. Uggggggggggggghhhhh.

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4. What fresh hell is doing my taxes going to bring this year?

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5. I have too many 1099s. Brutal.

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6. What are benefits repaid to SSA?! Do I even need this form?

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7. By this time next week, I will be thousands of dollars poorer. Hooray!

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8. Thanks, Uncle Sam! You did this.

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9. I can’t deal with it right now.

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10. I mean, why should I have to pay taxes?

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11. I work hard. I give to charity. Why do I have to pay so other people can get free stuff?

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12. That's it. I'm going for a walk.

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13. Probably gonna get a donut.

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14. I deserve to treat myself today. I'm doing my taxes, after all.

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15. Just two blocks to the donut store.

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16. Looks like they finally repaved the sidewalk. That’s something, at least.

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17. You know, I never really thought about how the sidewalk gets paved.

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18. Does someone in an office downtown just decide one day, “Hey, that sidewalk is pretty messed up” and send a bunch of construction workers to do it?

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19. I guess I pay for it.

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20. With my taxes. That I don’t want to do. Or pay. Or think about.

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21. Glad it got done though.

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22. Wow. What a beautiful day.

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23. Hey, look at that mountain!

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24. That’s a cool mountain.

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25. I look down at my shoes so much I never noticed I lived by a mountain.

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26. ‘Sup, mountain.

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27. It must be part of that newly designated national forest.

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28. I guess ... I should also be grateful that my taxes pay for the park rangers to take care of it.

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29. I mean, the mountain definitely helps property values around here.

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30. And without taxpayer-funded government protection, it might be all covered in trash and scrap metal and stuff.

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31. Or have its top blown off by some coal company.

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32. I should hike up that mountain one day.

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33. But donut first.

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34. Definitely donut first.

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35. What kind of donut do I want?

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36. Glazed? Chocolate cake?

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37. Of course, the fact that I know how to read the donut menu at all is because I was educated in public schools, which my parents’ taxes paid for.

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38. Ooh, yes. Vanilla sprinkles. There it is.

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39. Love a frosted donut.

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40. Now that I think about it, taxes also pay for the farm subsidies that help America grow ungodly amounts of corn that becomes the corn syrup in the frosting.

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41. Would this donut even exist without farm subsidies?

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42. If it did, it’d be like $17, instead of $1.05.

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43. Maybe that’s why there are so many frosted donuts in America.

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44. I wonder what would happen if somebody punched me in the face and stole my donut?

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45. I’ve never been punched before.

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46. I guess it would probably hurt pretty bad.

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47. And someone would call the cops.

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48. Why do cops even exist? I suppose because we all pay the government once a year and a small portion of that goes to pay cops.

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49. Not that, you know, cops are always 100% chill, but still. Nice to have someone to call, if you need to, when you get punched.

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50. Mmmmm. Fried donut. Fried in greasy, greasy oil.

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51. Come to think of it, donut shops are kind of dangerous.

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52. What if all that oil caught on fire?

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53. I guess the fire department would come.

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54. And put it out with their tax-funded trucks and hoses.

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55. Hm ... guess I should probably start walking home to do my taxes after all.

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56. Good thing that car stopped when I crossed the street instead of mercilessly mowing me down, as it probably would have without a tax-funded streetlight to stop it.

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57. Wait a sec — I feel like ... like there’s someone behind me.

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58. Like, multiple people.

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59. Oh, it’s a youth soccer team. Phew.

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60. It's not a horde of crazed cannibals.

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61. Double phew.

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62. Why aren’t there crazed cannibals around?

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63. I suppose it’s because my taxes pay for food assistance so people don’t have to resort to eating human flesh.

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64. And housing assistance so people don’t have to starve alone in dank, musty caves.

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65. And a legal system that imposes severe penalties for killing people and cooking them.

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66. It’s almost as if ... there’s an entire, complex, hidden infrastructure undergirding my ability to safely get a donut that depends on me paying my taxes.

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67. Which I still need to do.

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68. True, there’s a lot of stuff I'd rather my taxes not pay for.

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69. Like dropping bombs on random countries.

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70. And a new football stadium every three years.

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71. But we don't get to pay a la carte. Otherwise, everyone would just pick and choose, and important programs that we don't even think about wouldn't get funding.

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72. Not to mention, other people might not want to pay for the stuff that I want my taxes to go toward.

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73. Like the subway so I can get places without a car.

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74. And weather satellites so I know when to put on my boots before I go outside.

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75. But especially this donut.

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76. Millions of other Americans paid up so I could have this sweet donut.

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77. Thanks, everyone!

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78. You’re the best.

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79. Even though taxes are something you have no choice but to pay.

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80. And you’re probably more than a little pissed about having to do them right now.

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81. OK, I'm home. It's time to face the beast.

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82. Weirdly, I actually feel good about paying taxes now.

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83. Anything that prevents me from twisting my ankle, dying in a fire, or being eaten by a ravening horde is OK by me.

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84. Ooh, and maybe I'll get an article out of this.

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85. And I can deduct that donut as a business expense.

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86. Boom. Just owned taxes.

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87. Definitely need another donut to celebrate.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

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