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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tax hangover

I suspect if divorce is ever initiated at our house it will happen on an April 16th. Loyal readers might remember the great Taxcapade of 2007. I was na├»ve enough to think this year was going to be better. I’m not sure why, probably my natural Pollyanna attitude rearing its ditzy ringlets.

I took Monday off from work and devoted half the day to therapeutic futzing around and half to taxes. I wasn’t too concerned because I had Mr. Turbo*tax working for me. I absolutely LOVE this product. Back in the day when our returns were considerably more complicated, it probably saved my soul as well as the lives of several IRS agents. For those of you not familiar with the product, it asks you about 264 questions about your money and offers explanations and clarifications and then it whips your entire pile of fiscal minutia into… A TAX RETURN! You don’t have to read the 88 pages of instructions or download special publications or even enter your information from last year, because it KNOWS you! Really! It knows your employers and charities and dress size. One of these years I expect it will even send us a Christmas card!

So I fed the little number cruncher all that it asked for and printed out the tax return. The news was not good… by about $3000. It was a result of some capital gains and an interest payout didn't have tax withheld. It’s all good because, in theory, we made much more than the chunk that the IRS was asking for. Haha. Listen to me. If you know anything about Homer, you know that he does not roll over and sign his name to anything that will cost him money without a fight.

I am past finding it ironic that he insists I do the taxes but then spends more time going over them, than I spent doing them, sooooo... let the games begin.

8pm last night:
Homer: Why aren’t… ?
Jane: We are..
Homer: Why are we…?
Jane: Umm, we have to.
Homer: Doesn’t…?
Jane: NO.
Homer: Why….?
Jane: Because!
Homer: What is…?.
Jane: Exactly what it says there at the end of your nitpicking little nose!

Score: Jane 5, Homer 0
I won’t subject you to all the taxy-boorish details. I’ll just skip to the end and tell you that Homer Pennypincher was not able to find ONE single problem.
Ahem. *coughItoldyouso!*

By the time I got all the forms signed and checks attached and proper addresses for everything (Alpha had taxes, too), it was after 10 pm, which meant a trip to the postal service's home office once again... for ME, because Homer has disappeared with the dog. I still had only a vague idea where I needed to go, but I bundled up my handiwork that included a balloon-festooned envelope with one Kwanzaa and one Christmas stamp that contained my farewell gift to Dubya, and headed west (young woman!).

A few miles from home I ran into a snowstorm. Yes, on April 15th. One of those crazy snows made up of bb pellet-like pieces so thick and fast that they catch your headlights and make hypnotized mush of your already addled brain. I guess there had to be a new twist because this year I had my purse, my shoes and my cell phone with me. Well, I still took the wrong exit, missed the right one, flipped a couple U-ies and finally found the place with the postal soldiers in their yellow slickers standing out by the street grabbing returns from a steady stream of cars. I cheerfully wished them well and sped off… in the wrong direction… home. It’s people like me who inspired GPS technology. Santa? Please?

So, I was home in bed by 11:15pm. Not bad. No malice, no bitterness, right?

Dear IRS-
When you are putting together next year’s 1040 tax forms and you contemplate once again building in that little check box next to the names of the joint filers… the one that says ‘deceased’? I’m just thinking… maybe you shouldn’t tempt people.

Love,
Jane

1 comment:

Shanna said...

LOL I use Turbo Tax too...here's what I want to know; how come you didn't just efile? Well the yellow slickered guys sound very interesting. I've never heard of them. What a horrible job! :)