Brits are lazy when it comes to taxes. As an employee, taxes are just that annoying chunk of money that gets deducted from each pay slip, at the end of the year a P-60 is given out showing the final years totals and then it gets put in a box in the cupboard, never to be seen again. In the States it’s a whole different ball game and it slightly terrifies me as it’s something I’m going to have to try and make myself understand!
The husband tried to explain it to me.
- You can choose how much tax gets deducted each month. Each ‘level’ is given a number like 0, 1, 2, 3…which alone, makes no sense. You can pick to give none and hope you have enough in savings at the end of the year to pay it back, you can choose a little and risk you break even or opt for too much and get a whole heap back at the end. In the UK you are given a code automatically, the same percentage gets taken out each month, at the end of the year if you’re lucky you get a tax rebate cheque if you’ve paid too much. None of this choosing levels!
- When you receive the equivalent of a P-60 end of year tax form, you then have to fill in another form where you can try and claim extra money back if you have things like kids etc. This form HAS to be submitted by certain date every year. It’s also weird because if we ever decided to move and live together in the UK, as a US citizen, no matter where in the world Jesse is living, he’ll still have to complete a tax form even though he’d be working for an English company and getting paid into an English bank account. Does that mean he’ll get taxed TWICE? Once by the UK Government and then again by the nosy US Government?? I wouldn’t imagine so but that’s a bridge we’ll have to cross if ever we’re in that situation.
I’ve contemplated the idea of trying to make a little extra money online as well as (hopefully) finding employment once in the States, but because the tax process is not something I’ve had to deal with here, it’s almost putting me off trying to give it a shot, which is a shame, I should be ‘following my dreams’ so to speak. I know if I was staying in the UK and was to do the same thing, I’d have to file as self employed and that’s when all the personal tax return forms come into play anyway, but what with EVERYTHING involved with upping sticks and moving too the States, I’m not sure if now is the right time to then throw myself head first in to that too! I’m not even sure how I’d begin to know how much to give! Is it a case of fill in the form with earnings and deductions and then then send back saying how much they want or is it something you’re expected to know and send off at the same time?! I’d hate to do something wrong just because I don’t really understand it and then end up in trouble over such a small amount that I may be earning extra!
It’s things like this that you don’t even really think about when you go on holiday or even when you first decide to move somewhere! I think I’m going to have a LOT of research to do over the next few years!