"the man" taketh away...


have 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


At 2/27/2006 04:07:00 PM, Blogger Karen Rani said...

Oh Amanda, I'm sorry to hear that. I hope it isn't too too much.

At 2/27/2006 06:42:00 PM, Blogger amanda said...

no worries, Karen, you and I are still on. Give me 'til the end of the week...

At 2/27/2006 07:11:00 PM, Blogger Plunky said...

Hi Amanda. I just blogrolled your site because my mother had breast cancer this summer and your site completely touched me. A couple years ago, I had an illness for about 6 months, it wasn't something as horrible as cancer but it was costly. I learned the same thing you just did. It is so hard because you just think, is this ever going to end? All the crap?

I think it will and maybe you'll find even more angels than you already have!

At 2/27/2006 10:14:00 PM, Anonymous debutaunt said...

I have no clue about my 2006 taxes. It's like how they make you pay money on unemployment. I'm like... I only made $7,000 this year. And I had to PAY??

I hope that somehow some fundage comes your way.

At 2/27/2006 11:27:00 PM, Blogger Jackie said...

that really sucks.

my husbands dad got really sick quite a few years back, he worked for the government, so he got out on disibality, however, they conviently didn't tell his wife (my husbands mom) that the disability would pay off their morgage until a week after the deadline! So she was left with a sick husband, two little boys, and all the bills!
They really don't make things easy do they?

At 3/01/2006 01:08:00 PM, Blogger Marisa said...

I'm sorry to hear that. I can only imagine how much it money it cost you and your husband for his treatments.

I complain about all the income taxes and sales tax (over 15%) that I pay in Canada, but in the end I think it's worth it. I underwent two rounds of chemo, countless tests (CT scans, biopsies, bone marrow aspiration, etc) and I gave birth to two healthy children and I paid $0 out of my pocket.

I hope that you find a few tricks to get you some money back.

At 3/01/2006 11:09:00 PM, Blogger Keri said...

So sorry dear. And yes, "the man" is full of suckage regarding the sick. Like recommending cuts to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for Fiscal Year 2007 when he proposed his budget to Congress a week after his State of the Union address a few weeks ago. He's a peach, that one.

At 3/03/2006 05:02:00 PM, Blogger Miss Misery said...

Thats so stupid Amanda! Can't something be done about it? I don't see why people who suffer enough as it is have to PAY for their suffering, thats just plain stupid. Just remember in the law of three, Karama will get those bastards.


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