Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Weekend Assignment #256: Tax Time

This topic makes sense. By this time we should have all of our tax materials and, on top of that, Karen is an accountant.

Weekend Assignment #256: Tax time for individuals in this country starts in late January when the tax forms arrive, and runs through April 15th or so when the tax return is due. Do you file your taxes as soon as possible, at the last minute, or somewhere in between? Is there a particular reason for this?

Let me start by saying we don't do our own taxes. I know that there is software out there that makes it so easy a child could do it, but I know I'll mess up something. I don't want to go to jail. I'm too fragile. Either that, or I'll end up missing out on some good exemptions. We all need every exemption we can get.

A friend of my brother is an accountant, so he does it for us. For a long time we were the typical dual-income-no-kids type people who would get screwed every year. We had a mortgage, but it was on a relatively in-expensive town house out in the suburbs. It didn't off much of a tax shelter. Neither did our dog. So, every year we would wait until the last possible minute to drop off that check.

After our son came along we had adjusted our exemptions enough that we owed very little, and shortly after that, we bought a house, so we finally started getting money back. However, we still have mailed in that late the last two years. Why would we do that you ask? Well, both times we told our friend we want it direct deposited in our account and filed electronically. So, by the time we got the finished papers in the mail from him, we didn't look at them closely. Until we noticed we weren't getting our money and my brother already did. So we had to rush to put everything together to get it to the post office. Two years ago I actually called the IRS to see if they had received our forms. I was kind of nervous calling them. I guess we all have a fear of the IRS, don't we? Adding that to the fact that we were in the last group to get stimulus checks last year and, well, last year wasn't a great tax year. Let's hope this year is better, right?

Extra Credit: Who actually does your taxes, and with what software or other resources, if any?

Oops. I answered the extra credit in the main post. I hope it still counts.

When do you file your taxes?


dc said...

I have someone who does my taxes too. I do them right away because I always get a refund due to how they're filed. I already got my refund this year...well, except for my state one because Cali is handing out IOU's instead...ugh.

Mike said...

DC: Wow! You're on top of things.

I heard about the IOU's. What joke! I hope you get your money soon.

Florinda said...

Taxes really aren't that scary, except for the amount of money they take away from you :-). It doesn't hurt to be careful, though.

We still haven't gotten going on ours, but we know we'll be paying, so why rush? We should be able to finish it all up well before April 15.

Karen Funk Blocher said...

Well, "a child could do it" is a slight exaggeration, depending on the child! But I'm sure you could handle it, Mike! Once again you amuse me greatly.