Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Deathly taxes

I’ve filled in all the little boxes. I have answered all the questions. I have dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s. I have checked it twice.

Three times.

Perhaps ten.

It is time…to file those taxes.

WAIT!

Let me just…I just want to…am I sure the values I’ve put on all those donations to the Disabled Veterans are reasonable? Wait. Let’s look at the pictures again…no, no, yes.

Yes. I’m being quite reasonable. Throwing away money, probably.

OK. {Deep Breath}

I’m gonna file this bad boy…after I get a soda. Just one more minute of thinking. See if anything occurs to me that I’ve left out.

I’m due a big refund this year. A BIG ONE. The fact that we were subject to AMT last year, and withheld for it this year, and hey! I stopped working abruptly in April but didn’t change my husband’s withholding because I was going to get busy making money independently but then I didn’t because it turned out that I wasn’t just making a good excuse to the boss when I said Captain Adventure needed 210% of my attention…

Yeah. We really over-withheld last year. We’re due two big checks, one from Uncle Sam, and the other from our beloved Golden State.

Wait. Am I sure about that? Let me just go over this one more time…

Now, I ask you. What the hell is it about {music indicating the End of the World is nigh} taxes?

I am not one of those people who feels my government is out to get me. Not usually, anyway. Granted, I’m not 100% certain they are always (or even often, for that matter) acting in my personal best interests, but I am certain that they’re not actively out there trying to harm me, either.

I’m sure they never actually mean to give me those black eyes and knees to the groin. I’m not afraid of the police, military personnel, or members of Congress. If Ah-nold were to stop by the house, I wouldn’t automatically assume he was trying to kill me. (Unless of course he were a killer robot with a big gun. Then I’d be worried.)

The FBI could turn up on my door and I’d be surprised, but not particularly worried. This is how I roll with my government. No worries, really. I’m a pretty boring little person; the worst thing I ever did was steal a pack of bubble gum when I was about ten. And then my mom made me take it back and apologize and pay for it. If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime…

Anyway. I’m not afraid of my government, is what I’m trying to say.

Except, uh, for the IRS.

Somehow, I am convinced that the IRS is waiting to pounce on me and repossess my house or some junk. Last year I got a notice that we owed another $600 and I went into super-meltdown mode. OH MY GAWD OH MY GAWD OH MY GAWD…

Turned out someone Over There had entered Boo Bug’s social security number wrong, the system had rejected it, and they’d adjusted our entire return based on three kids, not four. When I called, they fixed it.

Just like that.

One call. Twenty minutes, max. “Oh, I see, you say that should be a ‘6’? One moment please…oh yes, that’s fine, it’s gone right through. You’ll get your amended amendment (yes really, an ‘amended amendment’) in about a week, you need take no further action, thank you for calling!”

So. Please explain.

Why do I feel afraid to file these taxes?

I have never had a problem with the IRS. I have never had a negative experience with anyone from the IRS. I am not lying on my taxes – I really did overpay. The money really is mine.

So why do I feel like a child who has just been told she can go ahead and get a cookie, but knows the mean old uncle is about to slap her hand with a ruler when she goes for it?

I don’t pretend to understand it – but I really do need to get over it. I need that money back, thank you very much. I’ve got bills to pay, as I may have mentioned a few bazillion times recently.

OK.

I’m going now. To file the taxes.

Here we go.

Gonna file my taxes.

Right after I check out my Bloglines…

4 comments:

buffi said...

This is why I make SD do the taxes. I just can't take the pressure. Also, then if something DOES get screwed up, I can blame him. Hee heee.

Jeanne said...

I know what you mean. I've answered all the questions in Confusing Tax Program™ after looking up the topics in the HelpI'mAnIdiot section and being assured my answer is correct-ish. But the moment I hit Send, visions of audits dance in my head. I think they write those things that way on purpose to make us think like this as cheat-prevention defense.

PipneyJane said...

I know exactly how you feel and I did personal tax for a living at one stage. OK, I deal with HM Revenue and Customs instead of the IRS, but the feeling of trepedation and worry is still the same.

This year, I prepared SIL's tax return and nearly went into meltdown over her foreign income - she was a full time employee in Malawi for half of the last tax year. I know how to read their confusing "notes to tax return"; I can look up the double taxation agreement and figure out how it applies; but can I find ANYWHERE how to record tax paid to a foreign government on employment income? It took me the best part of 4 hours to solve that little puzzle.

I gave up trying to figure out how much tax she is owed and wrote a covering letter for her to send in saying, "Please Sir, I know it's past the deadline but can you calculate my tax for me? The tax calculation workbook doesn't cover my situation". (Without using the God-damn-workbook, I can calculate her tax refund but I'm not 100% sure I'm correct this year. And I'm sure they'll want to check it.)

- Pam

Steph B said...

Oh lordy....ours are usually pretty simple (one income, not enough of it, boom! we're done) but since we spent from July '06 to July '07 in Germany, things are rather complicated. Some la-dee-dah agency hired by hubby's employer is doing our taxes again this year, and frankly I'm a little worried. They ask for all this bizarre and (to us) pointless information, but we have no idea if they're actually giving the IRS some of the info we want them to have - like the ungodly amount we had to pay the employer for "not finishing foreign assignment" (which was totally the employer's fault, but that's another pointless argument). Not to mention that when we came home last summer we had to pay a month's salary in taxes that we had no idea we were going to owe, and still aren't sure why we had to pay. Taxes are evil. That's just all there is to it. Evil.