When I got out of bed Sunday Helaine already had the minutiae of our previous financial year on the kitchen table. Kitchen tables are where the best tax work is done.
For the past few years we’ve done ours using the online TurboTax website. Last year was problematic, but we were back for more and it was back to reasonably painless. In fact TurboTaxes software seems to be friendlier and easier.
If you haven’t done your taxes online one of the big advantages is it remembers what you did last year. It knew to fill in and in some cases go online to retrieve crucial data. Maybe I should feel insecure knowing all this stuff is online, but I don’t.
Before Helaine and I got together there was a period where I “forgot” to do my taxes. I mentioned this to an accountant I met at a party and within a week he had me in his office paying my penalties and squaring things. The funny thing is, two of the three years I was due a refund! There is no penalty when you shoot yourself in the foot financially. It should be called the insult to injury exclusion.
The tax form avoidance was when I was on my own and operating in the “no attention to detail” mode. I plead the Michael Phelps defense.
Helaine and I don’t cheat on our taxes. With over 98% of my income coming as an employee there aren’t many ways to cheat even if I wanted to. I’m mentioning this because as you finish your return a screen comes up comparing you to others in a similar tax bracket. I’m missing something or a lot of other people are being very creative–very. We are way down on the deduction side. Bernie Madoff will become B’nai Brith Man of the Year before we’re audited.
One of my relatives once claimed to work backwards, deciding what he wanted his refund to be then entering numbers that made that happen. I don’t have the stomach for that.
Does this put me on the new short list to serve in the Obama administration?
Why does TurboTax charge more for the Connecticut return than the federal? It’s just taking the same numbers and re-plugging them. The return itself is much less complex. The simple answer is, it does it because it can. Most folks look at the federal price only. There’s no price competition at the state level.
Our two refunds will each be about 1% of my income. That’s not an insubstantial amount. However, all it means is I overpay on a weekly basis. I do that on purpose, though it’s considered foolish. There is some solace in knowing you won’t… or shouldn’t owe.
Before I went to bed the feds had already accepted our return. Today Connecticut. The money should be in our account in a day or two.