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Newbie Tax

October 15, 2010
A New York City Street

New  New York

Of the many things people said when I announced to them my plan to move from Eugene Oregon to Gotham City, a few of them were consistent and altogether expected. I was told it would be tough, I was told it would be loud, I was told it would be expensive, and most frequently I was asked “Why?”

Like many of the decisions in my life, there were are few reasons. I was looking forward to starting fresh,  getting a chance at living in an entirely new environment, with new opportunities. I also had, for the last few years, developed a bit of an ambiguous affinity for big cities – and it goes without saying that New York is THE big city. I reckon that I had some influence from a few friends, such as one whose interest in Public Transportation and Mass Transit often lead to interesting tidbits about New York City, with which he was also fascinated. Finally, and most importantly, I had a friend who offered his help with my move – and to him I’ll be ever grateful.

New Sets of Taxes

My first night here I was taken to a restaurant called ‘sNice and made my first NYC purchase. Knowing I had money in the bank I had saved up specifically for the move, I didn’t pay attention to any numbers written on the chalk-board menu, displayed on the register, or printed on my receipt. I handed over my debt card, signed the paper, and we sat while we waited for our food. (I had a really nice veggie-meat Ruben, I recommend it if you pay the restaurant a visit.)

I actually managed to continue in this way for four days, until a moment when having eaten at a restaurant with two others, our check was brought to the table and we set about sorting out who owed how much. What hit me as I tried to sort out my items from theirs was a small number at the bottom, next to the word Tax. Oregon, you see, is one of the five states in the USA that has absolutely no sales tax. Looking at that receipt, I had an amusing ‘Oh Yeah!” kind of moment. “That’s right!” I said, “There’s sales tax here!” I shared my realization with my friends at my table, who kindly gave me tips and pointers through their amused enjoyment of my New York freshness.

A restaurant check tray open holding a check and a credit card.New Money Lessons

Six months ago, I moved as far from my family as my United States citizenship would likely permit me. That’s not to say I had a goal to get away from them, but as of that day I became the sole person responsible for myself and my financial well being. I let myself float through the first many days by simply handing over my plastic, and signing the paper. I wasn’t unaware of the fact that these were things I needed to keep track of, however I wasn’t proactive about staying on top of it. Turns out, it’s easy not to do what you know you need to – but that said, it hasn’t been that hard making sure to get it done.

Sales Tax plays a role in our individual Tax Returns. Tax season starts in just three months; at gunwel, we’re open year round.  Stop by anytime or give us a call at 212-979-6830 to set up your free consultation, today! Visit our website at or find us on Facebook.


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