When I got married, the deal was that my husband does the garbage, grass cutting and snow removal and I do the taxes. Sounds fair, doesn’t it? It does until tax time comes around when I would love to go outside and shovel rather than manage little slips of paper.
This post isn’t for those people who put things in a bag and cart them off to a CPA. Those are the smart people.
This post is for the folks who think they are smart enough to do it themselves. How hard can it be? It’s not like we are millionaires with tons of investments.
There is that TV commercial that implies we are smart enough if we use their product. Ha!
There is a process. It sort of works for me.
It’s important not to think about it. Sometimes that works. Most times not. When that ball comes down on New Year’s Eve, my first thought is “crap, it’s tax season.”
How do people file the first week in January? When I worked I didn’t have my W-2 yet. Do they keep their money under their mattress? Recently that yields the same return as any other investment without a fear of loss.
Starting around now, I get the dread in the stomach. It’s a lot easier than it used to be. My paltry investment portfolio now electronically transfers data which eliminates most (but not all) of the angst. There is still a lot of data entry.
One year I made a typo error that showed we owed over a million dollars. I had to throw away the outfit I wore.
There is the clean desk syndrome. You cannot start your taxes without a clean desk. You may end up with your shopping list in your tax file or worse, you may go to the grocery store with a tax paper and forget the milk and eggs.
Once the desk is clean you need to seek reasons to procrastinate. If the sun is out, it’s a good time to clean the bird feeders. If it’s bad weather, well, you just can’t do taxes in bad weather. It’s too depressing.
We have some weird things. There is always a foreign tax. It’s under $5. I never know where it comes from. I’d like to hand it over to the IRS so I don’t have to deal with it. I’m pretty sure that’s their strategy.
My bank gives me $25 each year if I keep a certain minimum in my accounts. I get a 1099M (miscellaneous) form for that. The first year it took me hours to get it properly taxed. There was no category for it (and no it doesn’t mean I’m self-employed). They make changes to their programs every year. It requires some double-checking to make sure it’s where it belongs.
I’m still in the anticipation mode now. No matter what Carly Simon said, I hate it.
Is makin’ me late
Is keepin’ me waitin’