Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Tax Man Cometh


It's that time again. See, I said there'd be arithmetic in this blog.

I've always done our family's taxes. And for a while there I did them for extended family, too -- kind of a Gilbert-and-Sullivan "sisters and her cousins and her aunts" type of thing. (Well, not quite that inclusive.) Ever since my high school economics teacher taught an entire mandatory unit on filling out your own federal income taxes and said there was no reason for individuals (as opposed to businesses) to pay to have their taxes done (and the forms were much worse then, and forms 1040A and EZ didn't exist), I have done them. Even in the writer's world of 1099 forms and Schedule Cs, I do them. Even though Schedule C implies I am a business and could, under Mr. Wilson's rules, morally qualify to hire somebody, I do them.

So -- does your desk look like mine? Do you do your taxes on January 2? April 14? Do you pay a professional or twist a family member's arm so you can escape all this? Have you invested in the software, unlike me? Has writing income changed your tax experience from better to worse, or the other way?

9 comments:

PJ Hoover said...

I do mine, and Turbo Tax helps a ton!

Anne Spollen said...

I don't go near taxes - ever. My husband and my mom LOVE doing them, and have all the software.

They both took and actually enjoyed accounting in college. I break out in hives when I hand the kids the calculator for their math homework.

All this means that my desk is as messy, if not messier, in an entirely different way.

Marcia said...

PJ -- I guess the IRS website has forms you can actually fill out now, rather than just print off. Maybe I'll try the new thing next year, when the pressure isn't on to get the taxes done so you can get the financial aid forms done.

Anne -- My husband wouldn't touch taxes with a 10-foot pole. I guess there's a myriad of reasons why we marry the people we do. :)I enjoyed accounting in college, too. And it was part of my first job out of college. But I'm glad I didn't try to make a career out of it. 40 years of financial reports? Nah.

Mary Witzl said...

(I'm taking a deep feminist breath here and hiding my blushes) My husband does our taxes. I want to think he actually enjoys it. In Japan, I had to go to the city hall and get someone to help me with our Japanese taxes. I had to go to the American embassy and get someone to help me with my American taxes. Eventually, my husband figured out how to file my American tax return and my love for him deepened...

But for what it is worth, my mother always did the taxes in our house. My father couldn't have balanced the checkbook if his life depended on it.

Kim Kasch said...

I've always done our taxes and I've always hated it. That's what I'm working on today :(

Mary Witzl said...

I meant to write that my writing has made little difference in our taxes. Sad but true. I'm hoping it won't always be like that, though.

Marcia said...

Mary -- Maybe there's one in every marriage. But there wasn't in my parents'. My mother didn't have a clue, and my dad was too afraid of getting something wrong. He hired somebody. My writing has made a difference some years, but most years not. The tax prep is similar, though, b/c we have more than 50% self-emp income. Still Schedule Cs, 1099s, and quarterly estimates.

Kim -- I think they get more boring by the year. I'm always so glad when they're done.

Brenda said...

My desk looked like that a few weekends ago...I'm a TurboTax person...That program has helped me do my own taxes for years...and for a lot cheaper...

Hubs has no clue about taxes and he doesn't want to know...grin...

Marcia said...

Brenda -- I've reached the point where mine has maybe half that much stuff still on it. I'm doing my son's taxes now. My husband is like yours. :)