Friday, April 04, 2014

Thank goodness, Friday

* My taxes are done and in. I've decided it's definitely worth it to me to hire someone. The cost at the Jackson-Hewitt here (which is probably standard) was less than I expected, and I had a $50 off coupon, which meant I got the state taxes done "for free."

It's worth it to me for three reasons: First and foremost - someone who knows what they are doing is doing them, instead of me flopping around and trying to interpret the more arcane bits of instructions. (If you only have a single salary and no investment income and not enough deductions to count, your taxes are probably simple. I have investments - part of that Plan For Not Having To Eat Cat Food When I'm 80 - and some of them get complicated. And even more than "qualified dividends" complicated.) The tax lady said, "I like doing returns like yours because they challenge me and give me a chance to use my education." (And I like that. There's something to be said for a person who goes, "This was harder than the usual stuff in my job and I liked it because it was a challenge.")

Second, it saves wear and tear on me. These days, anything that reduces my stress level is worth it.

Third, I got back that time - and last year, it took two full days to do the taxes.

I'm getting a decent refund from the feds. (Well, my dad would say: "You gave the government an interest-free loan!" but whatever. I can't predict exactly what my withholding should be in any given year because of capital gains and losses). Also, her encouraging me to bring in all the bits and pieces I had that worked for Schedule A helped with that. This is my first year ever for filing one but it turns out that at this point, it makes sense for me.

I owe the state a small amount. (I *always* owe the state). I just have to send off a check for that.

I've already thought about that refund (even though a colleague of mine didn't see his Tax Year 2012 refund until January of this year....) I need to replace the big chair in my family room as the upholstery is about shot and the padding in it is, too. And my iron could stand to be replaced. And sometime I want a new digital camera. So hopefully, everything will go smoothly with my taxes and I'll see the refund before too long.

* Also, it looks like we (the AAUW group) got the issue with losing our tax-exempt status sorted. (Short answer: never, ever trust the national leadership of any group to do the stuff they are saying they are doing. Also, apparently lots of things got screwed up when the IRS changed over from the filing of paper forms for the paperwork to electronic filing Quel surprise....) One member who had some tax training (she does the free help-with-taxes-for-seniors that VITA offers here) managed to fight through the stuff, and a local CPA donated some of her time to look over the forms to be sure they were right.

But, it means things are going to be a lot more complicated going forward; we are going to have to do a big whack of paperwork every year. (Sigh.)

Also, we have to elect new officers. I immediately agreed to be secretary again, as a strategic move: I knew the president didn't want to succeed herself, and I so do not want to be president of the group again, and did not want to deal with the pressure to do so. (And anyway, I think I make a better secretary. In MLP comics terms, I'm more of a Raven than I am a Celestia). Also, as the Keeper of the Yearbook, it's good for me to stay as secretary rather than take on a bigger job on top of doing the yearbooks every year.

* I saw this yesterday. First it depressed me a little bit, but then I realized something: This is why I do things like make quilts. Because those are accomplishments that *literally* pile up (as in the stack of completed quilts on my guest-room bed). And yeah, maybe it's not the same as having a grant funded or winning the rare teaching award, but still: it's something I count as an accomplishment.

(If the type is too hard to read: it says "If Tetris has taught me anything, it's that errors pile up and accomplishments disappear")

I did start cutting the pieces for the next quilt (the one inspired by Japanese lanterns.) Didn't get very far but at least I have all of the main fabrics ironed and ready to cut.

* My first row of beets is just now starting to come up. If the various guys (Heh, now I'm thinking of that Steven Universe epsiode: "Guys? You know: Guys Under Your Supervision" - where he is talking about the little figures he gets out of a gashopon machine) get done in decent time this afternoon, I think I'm going to plant the beans (all the rain we've had will have worked well through the soil) and maybe another row of beets and perhaps the nasturtiums I want to plant.

Home grown green beans are so far superior to anything you can get at the store. (Well, maybe those with Locational Privilege who have access to a Whole Foods or a Fresh Market or something can get decent fresh beans, but here, they pick them far too mature and they're kind of blah and woody by the time they make it to market - so I rely on frozen beans, which are also generally harvested at a more-mature stage than what is ideal)

1 comment:

purlewe said...

Sue and I went to a tax guy this yr for similar complicated reasons. even tho I do an EZ and she does an itemized.. the fed govt recognizes us and our state doesn't. We didn't want to screw something up that bit us in the butt later. He was totally worth the money. He did the breakdown and showed us how he found more than enough to cover his fee. And the feeling after that we didn't have to do them? It was amazing. We felt like we had gotten away with something... which really we had. gotten away without doing the paperwork. :D
Maybe your church can get a CPA on retainer? Put it in the budget now for the future. It will save you guys headaches.