Oh . dear . lord . almighty – it’s April 15th and for the first time in my entire life I am forced to do my own taxes (our taxes to be exact.) For reasons that I would rather not go into, this is the first year we have had to deal with the complexities of the meandering maze of confusion that is our tax system in the fine U.S. of A.
Compounding our already precarious situation in handling this on our own, we have all kinds of additional forms since both Eric and I are self-employed and not exactly the best record keepers (we do save all receipts and in general keep a running tab of things). For some godforsaken reason Eric decided I would be the one to handle this. I imagine like changing diapers, it’s a smelly, labor intensive job that I am better suited to handle. Or so Eric professes.
Let it be said here and for the record: next year Eric has agreed that due to the elevating volume of “piss offs,” “leave me alone,” and “stop distracting me,” we are in consensus that this is a job better left to those who didn’t fail senior year algebra.
Anyway, it was suggested that we use one of those tax program thingys for the computer, and I really thing that was a good choice. For $56 bucks at Sam’s Club, I can be almost 62.37% sure that what I am submitting in about two hours will be sort of accurate.
I bought TurboTax Premier and I am quite satisfied that it is a well made product. Rather than fiddling with all the individual forms, guessing what the IRS wants to know and then having to hand record all the data, this program does it all. It asks questions that lead further down the rabbit hole of mysterious schedule C’s, EIC’s, SE’s, 2441, 1040’s oh.my.
There are some confusing elements to it. I didn’t like the way the State Tax portion was presented, in fact that is WAY more confusing than the Federal forms. There’s this RITA crap and heaven only knows what you are supposed to do with that. It’s important to also mention that this is a computer program, and while it is pretty self-explanatory, it’s still one more computer program that you need to know and understand.
I would recommend a couple of things – keep your records in a secure place and EVERYTIME you receive a statement that you know you will need at tax time, file it immediately. Keep good records of anything that you might be able to deduct like child care expenses, some home improvements, and of course if you have a home office, be very careful what you claim – this is a redflag for the IRS.
Most importantly, don’ t wait until the last minute to do this detail-oriented shit, as it will cause not only marital dischord, but possibly permanent brain injury.
Good Luck and don’t let the tax man get ya!!