The best of taxes (if there is any)

My snark has been hiding lately. Throbbing thumbs and crappy weather added to tax time equals a very cranky (and not very humorous) Kate. Rather than write yet another bland piece, I am posting one of my tax favorites. This is from 2013 and not surprising, nothing has changed, including extra Starbuck runs!

angry_smiley_I hate taxes. Could the government have made it any more complicated? I think not. Who thought up all those “but if’s” anyway? It’s the same people who can’t compromise on…oh…anything!

I do our taxes myself. I am smart enough and too cheap to spend a bunch of money on an accountant. For the most part, it’s not been really bad.

That was then. This is now.

I use an on-line service. They can add better than I do. They nudge me for stuff I forget. Normally I would say they are user-friendly. That was until this year. They used to have a wonderful side index where you could click on where you wanted to go. Easy peasy. Now you have to go through several screens to go from 1099-Div to 1099-Int or through a lot of screens to make sure you don’t qualify for some obscure credit. Trust me, I don’t qualify for anything that lessens my taxes.

They also want stupid information that isn’t on the forms sent by the various banks. They kept insisting on a state code (what is that anyway) for one of the entries. There wasn’t any. They weren’t happy and my return is noted that it has an error. That’s too bad!

We don’t have tons of money. That’s what makes it more frustrating. We rolled over some accounts, sold some funds and bought others. None of it amounts to wealth. (I am still working on winning the lottery. That is our long-term financial plan.)

We changed investment institutions too. Forms are different — not better, just different. I can’t find anything but they say it’s easier.

It took two days to navigate that damn on-line site. On top of it all, I am cranky! I’m considering a second Starbucks run to settle me down. It’s that or a Valium IV drip!

When I was considering careers, anything with numbers did not interest me. Engineering runs in my family and I could be a good problem-solving engineer. I just don’t like the day-to-day number crunching required. My algebra teacher thought I could be a nuclear scientist if only I could add. (Details, details…)

My brother got all those wonderful number genes. I got the genes that make me run in circles and yell at people. Those came from my mother. She was a sweetheart with an iron will!

tax receipt and coffeeI’m off to Starbucks to find Happy Kate!

37 thoughts on “The best of taxes (if there is any)

  1. My husband does our taxes. I try to be invisible as he gets rather grumpy. And he originally trained as a tax attorney (he stopped that specialty 30 years ago, but still he knows his stuff) and he doesn’t really understand all the complexities. How can regular folks be expected to?

    But Kate, I have the same financial plan you have! I will win the lottery sooner or later. I’m sure of it.


  2. Get the caffeine drip going, Kate. Once you get a home, etc., the numbers-game fogs my mind. My brother has his own accounting firm. When tax seasons was about to get under way, he told me that he just wanted to pound his head on the desk because of all the changes. That was all the convincing I needed to turn my stuff over to the pros. 😉


    • Maybe next year especially if I value my sanity. It would be easier if the on-line service didn’t keep changing it’s format. I have to relearn that every year along with the tax changes.


  3. Do you hear me screaming now? Why is it so complicated and why do they punish so many hard working people just trying to get along, pay their own way, and hoping not to be a burden on anyone in the future?
    We do our taxes, then because we have a small business we have an accountant go over it again – and still it’s always fingers crossed when it’s sent in. The whole tax thing seems to depend on how the IRS is feeling that day. (I shall stomp feet and throw things at this point in the post) (No I do not feel better.) (I want an accounting as to where all that more money that ever is going – and a good reason why federal employees in the IRS are allowed to work there while still owing and not paying their own taxes) (Yes, I am cranky..even with coffee)


  4. My wife does our taxes (she’s an accountant) thank god, and a damn good one! Still, tax time has her super-busy. I know I’m married … we have the children to prove it. But I still can’t wait till April 15th to come and go, then we get back to being a family.


  5. I used to do our taxes when we lived abroad and had all these strange forms to fill out, like the 2555, which kept changing based on the whim of Congress. I think the forms were simpler then, though. A few years ago I had a complicated year with a move, a rental, etc. I said I would use H&R Block just this one year. But it was so nice to leave the stress and the piles all over the dining room table to someone else. I can’t go back.


    • You are smart. I should do that but I’m so stubborn. I spend more time whining about it than doing them. I usually stress out that I am forgetting something and will end up like Al Capone!


  6. The T word just makes me cranky as well, Kate. Not that I can’t use the on-line it’s the finding out how much our Government takes so much taxes from the working poor. Have some starbucks for me!


    • Yes, there is that too. I get a $25 bonus from my bank each year for keeping a minimum bonus. It’s closer to $15 by the time the taxes on it are paid. It’s like do you really need to tax this?


  7. The powers-that-be keep talking about simplifying the tax code but it seems to get more convoluted every year. Except those who are really rich… they just hide everything offshore, or take advantage of schemes and deductions that we, mere mortals, can’t. I know that I’d feel better about things if I felt that EVERYONE was paying their fair share.


  8. You’ve got gumption! We use an accountant for our taxes (whose rates have increased disproportionately to the work actually required!) because if we ever did them ourselves, every trip to the mailbox would be a game of chicken to see if our IRS audit notice came through.


  9. I cannot even begin to imagine the frustration that you’re experiencing doing your own taxes. We have an accountant do our taxes. I applaud you on your gumption, but there’s not enough alcohol in this world to get me to even try to do ours!


  10. I used to hate tax time. Canadian tax forms are no clearer or easier than U.S. ones. And now that I am married to an American, we have to deal with taxes in TWO countries. Top that, cranky Kate! (j/k) I used to do our taxes all the time, but after the addition of having to do U.S. tax calculations for an American ex-pat, I gave up. Why do I smile at tax time now? Cuz my hubby and our accountant take care of it all. 😀


    • Every year I think next year I will have someone do it. Then I hear how much it costs and how much pre-work they expect you to do. You are lucky. My hubby does a lot of stuff but taxes aren’t one of them.


      • It’s worth it, Kate. If a mistake is made, the accountant gets it in the neck (well, has to handle the repercussions from Revenue Canada or (god forbid!) the IRS. I used to get mild panic attacks when any government agency sent me any kind of tax documents. If something came in the mail too late to be included in the tax calculations, I would get dizzy. This is no job for a worrier. Now I just hand whatever it is to hubby, who, in turn, hands it to our long-suffering accountant. I say God bless accountants.


  11. I never understood why they have to turn something that’s user-friendly, into your worst nightmare.
    I worked with number for over twenty years. Now, for the first time ever, I don’t have a calculator on my desk. 🙂


    • Not sure either. With the advent of my people using mobile devices, the screens are looking different. More icon-type thingies and less lists (which include so much more on a screen). Can’t imagine people to taxes on mobile devices but you never know.

      Liked by 1 person

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