I always get nervous around tax time. I used to always inevitably OWE the feds money or get back a paltry refund at best. My first year as a divorcee, I hired Joyce Olson on VI to do my taxes. She helped me get things in line and gave me a lot of direction for future years, for which I am thankful. From there, I bucked up and filed my own returns.
I made sure to claim just two exemptions to get more taxes taken from my paycheck. That move paid off with decent refunds, for the first time since the glory days of filing a 1040EZ in the simplicity of being 18-21! Remember those days?
This year was the best yet: I have fully realized the tax benefit of being married (when both parties have conserved taxes all year long, there are no ugly surprises) and things look good. Granted, it's a bit intimidating to file a return that has with it three schedules and special forms, but if you have the patience to follow the directions, it's really not difficult at all!
We may treat ourselves to a snorkel stove (hot tub) to celebrate.
The lesson, as I've made the big 4-0, is to conserve. I save elsewhere, too, and have learned to just live without that money each paycheck. It's pretty sad though when you lose 35% of your 401K, 39% of your RothIRA (which was in S&P stocks), but then MAKE 6% on a WaMu savings account. That is the first time I've celebrated the return on my savings account. Take those wins where you can find em!