It’s been a hectic and harrowing few months. Spending time with relatives in the hospital and worrying about them when I’m not there took its toll. When I did have free time, the last thing I wanted to do was taxes. I wanted to cuddle cats and watch puppy videos. And eat chocolate.
I had to knuckle down. I have a tax routine that works for me and it was time to start it.
While you read this keep in mind that it takes me about two hours to do this chore with checks and double checks to make sure I got everything. The whining time far outweighs the activity.
First I whine (I start that in January), then I clean off my desk or move things around. Mostly move things around (should the calculator be on the left side or the right side).
This is followed by a week of nothingness. No activity on taxes, just dread. Another short whine and then I dig in. I stay with it until it’s done. I collapse and have a margarita. Or a mocha latte depending on the time of day. (Sometimes both as the completion celebration goes for hours!)
It’s become simpler in retirement because there is no income but there are still things happening that require an effort. Here is a post from 2013 and nothing has changed in 6 years!
I hate taxes. Could the government have made it any more complicated? I think not. Who thought up all those “but ifs” 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 hard.
I use an on-line service. They add better than I do. They nudge me for stuff I forget. Every year they change the format. You have to find menus that are hidden in mysterious places. They also put you 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 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.)
It took two days to navigate that damn on-line site. 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, numbers did not interest me. I don’t like day-to-day number crunching. 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!
I’m off to Starbucks to find Happy Kate!