Thursday, March 31, 2011

TurboTax Time

We started our taxes tonight, armed with a laptop, slices of layer cake, and piles of files. I am chagrined to report that we are as stupid and confused as ever. Another March finds us increased in age but not in grace or wisdom. TurboTax managed to baffle us every few minutes and we quickly resorted to our old trick of clicking "no" whenever a question made no sense to us.

Wendy sat at our feet during most of the debacle, keeping her golden eyes on us. She has to be the most fiscally responsible feral cat ever. The other three kept their distance.

At least there was no yelling tonight; we haven't yet reached the peak of frustration. TurboTax is saving that for tomorrow night, when we aim to finish up the federal forms (and the cake) and deal with both the Massachusetts and Pennsylvania forms. For you locals, PA tax forms are just as annoying as ours.

If we're lucky, we won't have to spend the better part of the weekend clicking through every page of the program to figure out where to put my self-employment tax payments. But we didn't manage to put them in so far, and I think we're past that part. Dammit.

The good news is that we appear to be getting a refund. I'm always filled with dread that we'll owe the IRS a small fortune, but unless we made horrible mistakes — and we certainly could have — it seems to be all right. The other nice observation is that we gave quite a bit more to charity last year, thanks to one of us finally having a steady job. That's continuing this year. Those findings and the cake were the only bright spots in an otherwise wretched evening.

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