One of the things that I find hard to grasp is how ignorant are most of the people about finance, taxes, and accounting. What is even stranger to me, is that ignorance about money matters holds also for programmers, who should in principle be good at understanding (slightly) complex rules. This ignorance is usually not an issue during work (you just pay the programmer the same amount of money as last month and (s)he'll be happy), but it has happened to me several times that this ignorance was a major point of contention during the hiring process. I remember one case in particular that happend at my former job some four years ago. At that time there was a severe lack of programmers (even of bad ones), so salaries have skyrocketed and programmers were in position to even demand a transfer fee. Through a recommendation we got in touch with one programmer and hiring process progressed nicely, including the agreement regarding the transfer fee. But once we tried to make the agreement on the transfer fee operational, the issue of legal form surfaced. The candidate wanted to get the fee paid out in some murky way, which was of course totally unacceptable to us. Upon some drilling of the candidate I've found out that he's not so much troubled by paying taxes on the transfer, but that he's terrified of progressing to the next income bracket! His understanding was that by progressing to the next income bracket, he'd have all his income taxed by higher rate, and not just the income above some threshold. Once I got to know this, I've remembered an old adage, that you shouldn't hire stupid people, and I've terminated the hiring process immediately.
So, my dear fellow programmers, it's great that you are experts on the latest and greatest in technology, but please get acquainted with at least basic concepts of finance, taxes, and accounting. Your balance sheet will be grateful to you.
Want good programmers? Then PAY them. Just read an article in a local Austrian newspaper, telling that local companies are unable to find good developers and programmers. There are currently 22% more open job positions in this area compared to last year, and even back then lots of positions were not be able to be filled.
- Interviews Can Be a Terrible Way to Identify Good Programmers (thecodist.com)
- What are Tax Brackets? (turbotax.intuit.com)
- Taxes 101:Tax Brackets (turbotax.intuit.com)