Sunday, February 15, 2009

Keep the Change, America

Today was “finish the taxes day”. I waited until Baboo went for her nap and Mouse could happily be entertained for more than 3.2 minutes; then cleared off my desk to make room for the tax related paper mess.

Yes, I did start the taxes several weeks ago, but with an interstate move and snail mail we did not have all the required paperwork to really finish. We now have all the paper and so I ran out of excuses to postpone finishing up.

So I made myself a fresh coffee, got all the papers and files lined up and fired up Turbo Tax. After waiting for eleventy minutes for any updates to run, we were good to go.

I plugged in numbers, pulled my hair out, answered questions accurately (I think), got Mouse a snack and 45 glasses of milk while half-assedly replying “yes, that IS funny” to whatever she was trying to show me from across the room, and yelled “What the heck are you talking about!???” to the computer before I moved onto “state taxes”.

And then my head exploded.

ARGH! It was NOT intuitive, “Intuit Company”. Eastcoast State didn’t like that we are in Midwestville State and vice versa. They each wanted to take money from the other state, which I adamantly refused to allow! Getchyer PAWS off our money, DAMMIT! I think I heard Turbo Tax tell me to f* off when I was yelling at it.

After poking around a bit, clicking on various topics and swearing for a while, I found the very simple “do not include this on abc or xyz state return” button. It would have been nice to have had that option right off the bat! Turbo Tax got a little “over helpful” and skipped a few steps during the transfer from Federal to State. Do not over assume Turbo Tax. Do not over assume.

So, while I can say the taxes are “done”, as in the forms are filled out, I have not filed them. I need to sleep on the completed forms (which would mean stuffing my laptop under my pillow, so just assume I’m speaking metaphorically here) for a night and then review everything again with a clear head before signing off.

I suppose I should have taken our taxes in to be done by “someone” this year as I am certainly NOT a financial wizard and for us, this year has been complicated. However, considering how many trips I’ve had to make upstairs to get various related documents and files, I can imagine how PISSED I would be to have to go home 50 times to get related papers and files from a “tax center”. However, perhaps we’d get more money back (not that I’m complaining this year) if someone else did them.

Generally speaking, I think I'm an honest person by nature, and though I did not omit any information intentionally, a part of my brain always worries if the tax police are going to come and take me away because of something stupid that they'll point out and say "everyone knows THAT". (whatever "that" is). Seriously, despite the programs and books and “help” information, taxes are still convoluted and a gigantic pain in the ass. And yet they still allow us to file them ourselves. I guess they’re hoping we’ll screw it up, be none the wiser and they’ll (the “Man”) will keep our hard earned money in their hot little hands. And well, I guess I’m cheap enough, stubbornly egotistical (yes, dammit, I CAN so do taxes!) enough and stupid enough to do this myself, so uh, if I screw it up, I’ve only got myself to blame. Keep the change, America!

1 comment:

becprints said...

At least they're done!
Soon all way out of your life... until next year.