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15 April 2009 @ 11:23 pm
And I Have Slain The Jabberwock...  
Finished the taxes today (I was expecting to file an extension as of yesterday), and what a freaking chore. Disability overage plus repayments plus Social Security that might be taxable and jury duty payments that must be reported but that you won't get a statement for... gah!

It took me all day to realize that even though we paid back mistaken excess disability benefits to my husband's policy holder... we don't report the "actual" on this year's taxes, because the IRS doesn't work that way. Report whatever info you had as of 12/31/08, and any fixing up doesn't get reported until next year. Finally got that straightened out, all systems were go, and was on the verge of e-filing when... wait, having forfeited daycare reimbursement means I can't e-file? I have to print and mail the forms? Which will say exactly the same thing as the e-file version, so WHY?

Normally I don't do this at the last minute, but I'd been waiting forever on revised info from the disability company, and was expecting to file for an extension until yesterday morning (when I realized that you have to practically know what your taxes will be before you CAN file an extension). So I didn't even start on it this weekend! Instead, I tried to get the house into some semblance of order again and get the anti-aphid stuff on @80 rosebushes.

Sunday, the cold that tried to get me before leaving for Disneyland returned and won. I've had a sore throat and ears since then, and I'm feeling worn down. The taxes didn't help.

So, all this Dreamwidth fluttering that's happening... anyone have a spare invite? I'm not planning to move (they'll have to crowbar me off LJ), but in case too many friends drift over there, I want to maintain contact. I've been through this before, but better safe than sorry.

And because it's been SUCH a fantastic week... I apparently need to torrent the Terminator:SCC finale (the DVD got full), and last night's "Reaper" (which did NOT record, and who knows why).

*sigh* Is it Friday yet? And why doesn't RDJ's new movie open THIS week? *is impatient*

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Gretagretazreta on April 16th, 2009 07:25 am (UTC)
I'm inordinately fascinated by your tax story. Here, unless you run a business, you mostly don't have to put in a tax form at all, the government does it for you, and if you don't like it, you can challenge it later. Mostly they give you money back if you're me. Although one year I had to pay a bit.

I guess with a population of 4 million total, it's a lot simpler ?D

Go you though, you sound like quite the accountant! :D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: IronManhalfshellvenus on April 16th, 2009 05:15 pm (UTC)
Oh, the U.S. tax system is vile. There's a lot of social engineering in it, which I can understand - you don't want to overtax the lower classes or people with harsher circumstances (single parent with two kids, for example). But it means that it's fully of loopholes and conditions, and any exceptions to the usual are going to be painful.

I used to just do the taxes manually, back when there were only two of us and we had a regular mortgage, some IRAs, and some mutual fund investments. Then one year we sold stock to buy a house (so there's the "cost basis" of the stock vs. the "return" issue), and we took our taxes to an accountant... who charged us $250 and did them all via TurboTax.

Well! At that point, I decided that TurboTax was stable enough to be using it myself (being a software engineer, I'm very suspicious of the "quality" of software, especially something as important as tax software!).

So the TurboTax helps, but again... if you have exception situations the whole process will tend to be painful. The Social Security one was tricky-- all of the places where you enter that as income are flagged with "retirement," and you have to go to the IRS pages and probe through them to discover that there's a single place to enter ALL Social Security payments, regardless of why. And the repayment thing-- that'll be fun next year. Don't know why it took 5-6 phone calls to get the Disability Ins. company to realize that we need to know how much was repaid as applies to individual tax years. Grrr...

When you think about it, I know far more about U.S. Tax Law than I ever wanted to. Good thing math doesn't intimidate me! Or law either, for that matter.

Your situation sounds envious. :D
CaffieneKitty: canwehelpyoucaffienekitty on April 16th, 2009 07:29 am (UTC)
wait, having forfeited daycare reimbursement means I can't e-file? I have to print and mail the forms? Which will say exactly the same thing as the e-file version, so WHY?

If it's like Canada, they either need to have the physical form, or something about the way the computer has the numbers arranged doesn't agree with their systems. It's an atypical scenario, so, paper-file.

Even more joy is something that's going on with some Canadian returns. A lot of the government-issued CPP (Canada pension) forms have been mistakenly issued and flagged as 'lump-sum' benefits when they aren't. There's no way around it and no way to tell if a slip is affected or not until it bounces. About 5% of seniors are being bounced in e-file because some doorknob in the CPP office pushed the wrong button. We know about it, the government knows about it and there's still nothing that can be done to fix it. At least the whole e-file system hasn't bailed yet this year. *knocks wood*

We have two weeks left to deadline in Canada, and I work at a place that among other things does taxes. Yay for 70-hour work weeks! :-P
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on April 16th, 2009 05:23 pm (UTC)
If it's like Canada, they either need to have the physical form, or something about the way the computer has the numbers arranged doesn't agree with their systems. It's an atypical scenario, so, paper-file.

It might be that. At first, I thought it was TurboTax-- it flagged down the form and said "$0 is too low an amount to enter for paying a daycare provider."

Dude, what part of "I forfeited my reiumbursement" do you not understand?

I made those an artificial $1 each, which didn't help. I tried deleting the form, which made TurboTax mad (that's where you list the amount you forfeited, which I checked multiple times because you'd think that would be right on the 1040 main form. It's on your W2, after all. But no, the only place to document the forfeiture is on the "Daycare" form).

So I was stuck printing out, and HalfshellHusband made an emergency post-office trip around 8:30 pm.

There's no way around it and no way to tell if a slip is affected or not until it bounces. About 5% of seniors are being bounced in e-file because some doorknob in the CPP office pushed the wrong button.
*groannnnn* Plus, what about seniors who don't realize that their benefits are being falsely characterized as "lump sum"? Are they going to be penalized in taxes for that, or is it just annoying? Though in general, a lot of them probably need any refunds ASAP and not in 4-6 weeks.

This time of year must be epically UNfun for you. :0

I have a B-I-L who is a CPA at Deloit-Touche, and whose clients include some of the banks that got federal bailouts. THIS year can't have been fun for him. And a Nephew-I-L who works for the same company in some slightly different capacity where his accountant life is wall-to-wall hell right through Feb. 15 because of some other tax deadline. :0
CaffieneKitty: argcaffienekitty on April 17th, 2009 07:09 am (UTC)
Are they going to be penalized in taxes for that, or is it just annoying?

It's mainly just annoying, but for seniors who were otherwise efile-eligible it's meaning instead of getting their refund back in 14 days, it'll take about 8 weeks. :-P

This time of year must be epically UNfun for you. :0

Twelve-hour days with no lunch or coffee breaks, six day work weeks (soon to be seven day work weeks, and possibly 16-hour days at the end)? What's not to love. :-P

whose clients include some of the banks that got federal bailouts

Ooo. Yeah, I've heard about some of the shenanigans going on down there with that. Ick.

where his accountant life is wall-to-wall hell right through Feb. 15 because of some other tax deadline.

I would guess payroll, and generating all those fun bits of paper that go into a tax return. We do that too. It's been pretty much insane since January.
Shainalady_shain on April 17th, 2009 02:32 am (UTC)
Oh, I HATE it when the PVR mysteriously goes on vacation. This has happened twice with Supernatural, and once with Criminal Minds...GRR!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on April 17th, 2009 05:33 am (UTC)
Thank goodness for Torrent! Though the Reaper 2.05 there is a pirate music download right now. :0

I was forced to become friends with Torrent last year, when Reaper was on opposite House M.D. I'd hit the heel-stomp 59-minute-mark on "House," and think "Damnit-- I forgot to record Reaper!"

And then there was the shocking and unexpected _default_ behavior of our DVR, which is to overwrite every program onto the same disc position instead of using the free space on the disc. I nuked one program after another before watching it before I found THAT out. :0
Shainalady_shain on April 18th, 2009 12:11 am (UTC)
Whoa. Your DVR was clearly built by Satan.

I'd hit the heel-stomp 59-minute-mark on "House," and think "Damnit-- I forgot to record Reaper!"

God, the number of times that I've done that. I also mostly have to tape the stuff I watch time-shifted, because the Hubby doesn't watch but 1/2 of what I do. Also, our PVR has the 'if you record two things at a time you MUST watch one of them.' rule (Huh?). We both agree that watching the hockey game and suddenly cutting into some other show is NOT a good thing, so - shifting. Which means if the PVR pulls its mysterious censorship routine (No, you're not allowed to watch That), I'm usually in bed by that time and don't even have a chance to try to fix it.

Technology. Makin' our life easier, eh? *g*

Edited at 2009-04-18 12:12 am (UTC)
Princess Robot Bubblegum!astrothsknot on April 18th, 2009 01:30 am (UTC)
I recall a BBC reporter blogging about filling in his IRS tax form and how it was utterly batshit. He likened it to a machine in the Tate Modern that works perfectly, but doesn't actually do anything.

It was bloody funny
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on April 18th, 2009 02:09 am (UTC)
If only Mark Twain were still alive-- I'm sure he could lampoon our tax system in the way it richly deserves. ;)