Taxes

Finally turned in my tax forms yesterday.  Got a refund from the state (Hurrah) and owed a little bit of money to feds (boohoo).  Now I know that’s opposite of what every financial advice column recommends which is “owing money to the IRS is good”.  But they don’t take account of the emotional issues such as my absolute hatred of writing a tax check or the joy of getting a refund. Fine, call me a bad money manager. We have enough money to pay our bills, do some saving, and even have a little bit left over at the end of the month if all goes well.  And if I miss out on a couple dollars interest (at 0.25% for the small amount of my refunds), who cares.  I don’t.  And speaking of taxes, why can’t the IRS put an online system on their site like the California tax software?  It took me less than 15 minutes to do my taxes, cost noth8ing, and I had the same n umber as the manual calculations I had done earlier.  Fantastic sofware.  It must be that Turbo Tax has paid someone to keep software like this off the IRS website.

I did have some fun with taxes.  My girls and I had a competition — last one done buys drinks.   The conversation, mostlly via email, follows 

Me:

“Hello  Girls,
     Gentle reminder that Taxes have to be done this weekend.  Of course, I’m sure you all are on top of it—especially Maggie whose W2 I just found in the bottom drawer while looking for mine. Unfortunately, I haven’t even started mine.  So let’s have a race.  Last one done with taxes buys drinks at Art Beat or Mother Earth this June.
    And Mags—if you want me to scan and send your W2; I’ll do it tonight.
 Love Mom.”

Liz responded:

“Hah, I beat you all. I did my taxes last month! Someone owes me a drink!”

 Mags responded:

“Eh, doing taxes last minute is cool. But game on!  
     Also, Mom, what is the W2 for? I have one for Penn State and one for the Northrup Grumman Federal Credit Union, and thought that was it for this year? But yes, if you could scan me a copy, that would be very much appreciated.”

Both girls responded within minutes of my initial email.  A very fast response.    And yet it actually took a couple of days before I did scan and send the W2’s to Maggie.  I don’t know if she needed them or not.  So now e come to Sunday afternoon.

Well it actually took a couple of days before I did scan and send the W2’s to Maggie.  And in that time I did have a conversation with both girls.  Liz 

 Me:

“Done.  OK almost done.  Figured out that I owe the federal government and have a big refund from the state. Still need to fill out the forms.
   So does this mean I win the contest and Maggie owes everyone a drink?”

 Liz:

“Not valid until they are actually filed”

Mags didn’t see Liz’s email.  So on Tuesday, we had the following exchange:

 Mags:

“Aw crap. A couple of possible interpretations. One – I was a lazy bum who finished her taxes the night before they are due. OR Two – I love you guys so much I couldn’t wait to buy you all beer and waited until the last minute on purpose
   Happy Tuesday!
   Love  M

ME:

“Well I haven’t yet filled out the forms or sent the check to the IRS.  So it is still game on.” 

Mags (on april 14th):

“Wow. This must be how Tom Hanks felt when his character was found floating in the ocean in Castaway. But I’m clocking out. Official end time 9:43pm (PA time).”

Guess I owe everone drinks since I didn’t finish unitl April 15th.  That will be fun.  So some good did come from the exercise of doing taxes.  And Mags owes her sister a thank you for speaking up about what “being done” realy means.  But I had fun doing taxes and not every one can say that.  So I also win.

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Author: Heres to ART not Cockroaches

Welcome to my life. My life as a mom is changing as the kids grow up, leave home, and build their own lives. This gives me a chance to rebuild myself as an artist, develop a spiritual path, and most fun of all, start going out on dates with my husband. Come here the stories about the small things in life that can make one very happy. Dogs running on a beach, great breakfast dates, kids and their adventures, and my own adventures in this wacky life. I'll share some of my progress in learning art while juggling a full time job as an engineer. And best of all, it's a chance for me to practice writing stories while keeping in touch with my kids. I look forward to hearing from you. Comments, thoughts, and invitations to meet for coffee are all welcomed. Enjoy the stories.

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