"the man" taketh away...
Ihave said it before, and I'll say it again: the United States of America government doesn't care about sick people.
Eric and I went to have our taxes done this morning. In light of the massive amount of medical expenses that we had in 2005, we were expecting to get most, if not all, of our taxes refunded to us.
No such luck...in fact, we have to pay in. It turns out that in Hawaii and Maryland, medical expenses are a standard itemized deduction, not a separate category unto itself. Unless your medical expenses top the standard deductions for a married couple ($10K for the 2005 tax year) in these states and several others, it basically doesn't count. (Note: our tax preparer did say that in some states, medical expenses are a stand-alone deduction, that is, you can claim the standard deduction of $10,000, plus whatever you paid in medical bills as an additional deduction. Talk to a tax professional to see what the specific rules are for your state.)
This means that you could have medical expenses of up to $9,999.99, and it DOESN'T COUNT. Ours thankfully were not that high (about $6K) but it still sucks. The financial ramifications of a long-term illness, even when you have insurance (as we do), are often devastating. Four months after leaving Johns Hopkins, we are still sending them several hundred dollars a month, and it's not like we are made of money.
And now we have to come up with extra money for a tax bill on top of everything else.
How many times can the federal government screw over this young couple affected with a chronic illness?
Stay tuned...I'm sure that "the man" has some more tricks up his sleeve...
posted by amanda @ 11:30 AM