Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tax Time



Ron doing one of his least favorite chores - taxes


If it's January 15th, it's time to start my taxes.  


Oh how I hate this job.  I always do my own taxes.  I use Turbo Tax.  That seems to be the easiest program.  I've never used a professional tax preparer.  Never made much sense to me because the hardest part of doing taxes is assembling all the material and you would have to do that for the tax preparer anyway.  So here I am, my self-appointed starting point for preparing my taxes.


I don't have all of my information yet but I have to put the Turbo Tax software on my computer.  This year I'm using my iMac computer so this caused me some nervousness.  At my age, anything new and different causes me nervousness.  I like everything to be receptive and calm.  Now I understand all those old people I used to work with when I first started out in my banking job as a young, whipper snapper supervisor.  I thought they were such old fuddy duddies.  Well, here I am, and old fuddy duddy.  What comes around, goes around (as they say).  What they also say is poetic justice.  Yeah, I was one of those smart assed guys who made fun of old people and their ways.


Well, I needn't of worried.  The tax software loaded up in a jiffy.  No problems-a-meto.  


Now to assemble my information.  Isn't this exciting?  This is my blog folks.  I write about my everyday life.  Sometimes exciting, sometimes not so much so.  This is one of those "not so much so" days but I'm going to subject you to it anyway.  Please feel free to leave the premises now if you don't want to go to sleep.  


So I gathered all my income which was only from my part-time job at the hotel.  My income was down again this year.  I didn't work January and February last year.  Hotel business was down and the owner of the hotel cut expenses by laying me and the other part-time old guy off.  The economy sucked last year and it still sucks.  I'm giving 20% and 30% discounts on hotel rooms and we still can't get guests in the building.  But I'm working this year.  


I didn't get my Social Security income form yet.  The income on that will be the same.  This is the second year in a row we rich Social Security recipients didn't receive a cost of living increase.  Funny thing that, my cost of living this year really went up, especially my AARP supplemental insurance with United ("we're always looking out for the customer") Health Care.  Sure, sure.  My premiums with those crooks folks went up a hefty 10% this past year.  Lovely.  I feel like I'm holding onto the edge of a cliff with my fingers and the insurance company is stomping on those digits.  Once Obama and his new buddies, the Republicans start nibbling away at reducing Social Security benefits this year under the guise of "We must all make sacrifices" (except the top tax bracket folks of course), I expect my Social Security payments to shrink even further.  "Change you can believe in."   Uh huh.  I didn't expect it to be this kind of change.  But I digress.  Back got the exciting narrative of assembling my information to get my taxes ready.  See why I hate this time of year?  All my dormant anger is stirred up over our patently unfair tax system.  But again, I disgressed.  


I gathered up all my dental bills.  I had major work done this year.  Over $3,000 or which I was only reimbursed $1,000 from my dental insurance.  Hey, it's better than nothing.  


I also get to deduct my AARP supplemental insurance premiums, something which I forgot to do last year so I had to file an amended return to get some of that money back.


Well, after about four hours of recording all this information one my green pad and then transferring it to my computer, I'm ready to leave it for now.  As always happens when I do my taxes, I'm mad.  


I'll let what I've done so far season while I await the rest of my tax information.  I'm supposed to have all of it by law at the end of this month but there is always a piece of information that comes floating in the middle of February.  This year it is my E*Trade tax statement.  What's up with that?  


I'm going to have a little lunch now and then take a well deserved nap.  


Maybe my mad will be gone when I wake up.  

16 comments:

  1. I hate doing my taxes! The worst part: the amount I now pay in taxes is greater than my entire pre-tax income was in 1985. (working at my first full-time job, having just graduated from university)

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  2. I admire you for doing your own taxes. I have never done them myself. I wouldn't know how. I was told in my line of work it was better off having an account and do my taxes. I have used the same fellow for now 20 years. We have watched each other age. in a world of fluctuation it is rather nice to know good Mr. Dunn is always there.

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  3. Spo,
    My career was in banking, back office operations which included record keeping, tax preparation, reconcilement, and audit controls. If I didn't reconciles my bank accounts or do my own taxes my three monthly retirement checks which I receive from banks where I toiled for over 37 years would be revoked. We former bankers never completely retire.

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  4. Alan,

    I've always done my own taxes. I'm always mad when I work on them. During my banking career, several times I was offered a job in the tax department. I always turned them down. There is no reason preparing taxes should be so complicated. I'm all for a flat income tax and be done with it. Of course I want my flat income tax to be 2%.

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  5. I'm a curious one so this is interesting to me because I've never known and had to do such thing. Do Americans have to pay taxes since they were born till dead? I've heard so once.

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  6. That is so Tai. I've been paying taxes since my first job in 1955 when I was 15 years old. And I will continue to pay taxes as long as I earn money. Once I stop earning money then I don't have to pay taxes anymore but of course then I wlll be dead. The famous quote that Ben Franklin said over 200 years ago is still true:

    "The only thing certain in life is death and taxes."

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  7. Ron, thank you very much for adding me to your blogroll. I've seen a lot of traffic from your blog already! Also, thank you for being a follower on my blog....I'll add myself as a follower to yours as soon as I figure out how to do it!

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  8. Alan,
    You're quite welcome. I find you and your blog very interesting as I'm sure other will find the same.

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  9. Ron,

    I only used a tax preparer once. That was the year I was, as companies put it then, "bought out", you know fired, terminated, kicked out. I'm sorry, I took "early retirement". With severance pay, and my 401K Loan becoming a "distribution" and all that stuff, my taxes were more complicated that year. That stuff also pushed my income over 6 digits and into a hugher bracket, plus since I went over the 100K mark I lost some of the deductions we get because now I was considered "rich". I also couldn't average anything over 3 years like the bank person told me because Clinton had just changed the tax law and averaging wasn't allowed anymore. I did my taxes, but was afraid I might have made mistakes so Lo suggested going to a tax preparer.

    You are absolutely right, I had to take all my papers to them and then they just punched everything into a computer. It turned out I had done it correctly, which meant I owed the IRS $7,000 additional dollars for the privledge of losing my job and which I didn't have because I had no job.

    I was charged an $80 fee for having my work confirmed.

    It took me many months to find a new job, a part-time one at that, which paid about 75% less than I used to make. It took me several years to pay off the IRS.

    Lar

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  10. That's why I go to HR Block - can't stand it!

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  11. My dad was a CPA. 'Nuff said. I know ALL about tax time. I grew up with terms like "fiscal responsibility" -- and "irresponsibility";-) -- which I was always surprised that none of my friends had ever heard!

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  12. Lar,
    Unless you have a really complicated tax situation, I just can't see wasting the money to pay a tax preparer the same way I can't see putting out several hundred dollars to have a will made up. I'm getting ready to update my will from one of these online sites for $35.00 The will will look just the same as one a lawyer would do. BTW, you're going to be in the new will.

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  13. Rick,
    To me it is more trouble to gather up all my material and give it to someone else to prepare. I would rather do it myself even though it always makes me angry.

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  14. D. Dave,
    Sounds like you had a very interesting childhood. :)

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  15. Say! I got an idea! Come over an I will pay you to do my taxes !

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  16. Spo,

    Actually, doing the taxes isn't hard. I use Turbo Tax. The programs leads you through a series of questions. The hard part is having all your information gathered. The easy part is entering the information into the Turbo Tax program. The program does all the calculations.

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