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Not sure how many of you heard this NPR feature on Weekend Edition Saturday this morning, which also featured this quote by Julie Miller, a spokeswoman for Intuit, which makes the TurboTax line of tax software:

""If you were doing your taxes manually, it's like churning your own butter. It's just hard."
Hmm, sounds familiar.  More below the flip.....

As you might have inferred, 3CM still does his taxes manually, which has always been the case.  The main reason for that is that self, being a terminal singleton, has never had to file a return that involves more than one person or one income.  So for the most part, my returns haven't been that terribly complicated, or at least complicated from my POV.

This year, however, was different, because of some cap gains income that threw things for a loop.  In addition, since I'm not the most organized person, I had to make sure that I had all the suitable tax documents compiled to be sure that I wasn't missing anything.  At one point during one round of preparation, because I realized that I was missing a key document on those cap gains.  This ended up boosting my overall income and thus lowering my refund.

It also slowly dawned on me as I was starting to do my taxes that something else was missing at the start.  Indeed it was, as I normally get federal and state tax form booklets in the mail - but not this year.  This one statement in the NPR story may hint as to why I didn't get forms by snail mail:

"The filing season started late this year, since Congress was still debating taxes until nearly midnight on Jan. 1."
When the light bulb finally went off, obviously I had to download and save the federal and state tax pdf forms to fill in all the numbers.  This gets back to the TurboTax allusion earlier, as to why 3CM doesn't just get with the modern program and use it.  One reason is the one noted above, in terms of 3CM being a singleton loser.  But the other reason, which may be even more loser, is that I think that I really want to understand why my tax return works out the way it does, which would involve doing real work to fill it out and understanding which numbers go exactly where.

It's arguable that doing it electronically would be more accurate, by removing the human element that is so often prone to error.  However, the problem still potentially lies with the data entry by the human in question, namely self.  Remember that I didn't have that one piece of information that proved crucial to making sure my return information was accurate.  Had I not filled it in, the software would have given me incorrect information as to my final tax numbers, just much faster than I would have done it manually.  At least so 3CM the loser thinks.

So even if my refund is turning out smaller than I'd thought, at least there's the semi-satisfaction that I filled out the forms pretty accurately, or at least as accurately as possible.  Plus, one other actually non-loser part was that compared to a fair chunk of Americans, I was ahead of schedule in filing my return, even though I started later in the year this time than in the past.  But in the end, I was even ahead of PBO on this one, per the NPR report:

"The president signed his tax return last Monday, just one week before the deadline, and he's in good company."
As well, according to Intuit's Miller:
".....about 50 million Americans will file their taxes in the last two weeks of the season.

'This year we've seen more and more people wait till the end; so we're in for a very busy weekend.  Monday will certainly be a peak day.'"

My federal refund actually wound up in my bank account this week, so that's all done.  Until it all starts up again next year, that is.  With that, time for the usual SNLC protocol, namely your loser stories of the week.....
Poll

Done your tax forms yet?

64%9 votes
35%5 votes

| 14 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  your friendly autobot tip jar (again) (10+ / 0-)

    Will be back in a few hours, hopefully, to follow up.  If any of the regulars, or anyone else, wants to "blog sit" until I get back, rec'ing comments & spreading general mojo, please feel free.

    So, from here:  decided to bike to volleyball this week.  What happens then?  Rain pours like nuts in the midst of it all.  Fortunately, it wasn't raining when I biked home, but still.....

    "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

    by chingchongchinaman on Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 04:30:34 PM PDT

  •  Very sorry about the rain (6+ / 0-)

    I used to do our taxes, but the last few years it was just too complicated and I gladly handed them over to a professional.  My loser story is that the professional is retiring...sigh.

    But we too have our refund back.  I could never stand to wait until the last minute as so many do.

    The ice storm went north of us the other day which was good for us and bad for others.  It is flooding, too, but not where I am.

    I feel for all those who go through that.

    I will see all the grandbabies on various days next week.  That is exciting.  

    Best wishes to all here!!!

    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 07:28:40 PM PDT

    •  am sure that there are plenty of other..... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dumbo, cfk, oculus, shari, BlueStateRedhead

      ......professional tax preparers out there to use after your main guy retires.  He might even suggest one or two.

      The weather thing is that even though it's spring, it doesn't feel like spring, with the extremes of weather of late (80's, then dropping to the 40's at night, with a tornado in between).

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 09:44:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Voter fraud. Formes done. yes. by me, well.... (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cfk, chingchongchinaman, Dumbo, oculus, wader, shari

    ...by the co-signing non-singleton. and done. well paid up enough to file for an extension. you didn't say which tax form, or all tax forms, did you 3c?

    BTW, i sent you a kos mail on an opera chat that you missed.

    One of these makes me a Loser's club member.

    "Are you bluish? You don't look bluish," attributed to poet Roger Joseph McGough, for the Beatles' Yellow Submarine (1968).

    by BlueStateRedhead on Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 07:46:20 PM PDT

    •  did see the message on the opera chat..... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dumbo, wader, shari, BlueStateRedhead

      ......from a while back, thanks; sorry that I didn't follow up.  But back to tax forms; in spite of being single, I had to do the full monty, i.e. the full 1040 form, with various supplementary forms (Schedules A, B, D; Form 8949).

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 09:42:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  i always do mine by hand (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chingchongchinaman, Dumbo, wader, shari


    however now that I have Freefilefillableforms.gov - I let the IRS do all the math online and I e-file.  Even with 9 schedules - A, C, 5462, 8829, 8283, 2106, SE, ARGH! yeah it's that bad now.

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 09:30:55 PM PDT

    •  tried the state tax forms here.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dumbo, shari

      ......in both the calculating form and the non-calculating form.  They both jived perfectly, although in doing the state form, one has to complete the federal form first, of course.  Thus every time that I had a screw-up when I did the federal form, I had to then recalculate the state result.  What's cool at the end is the conversion of the state form into a 2D bar code version in the upper right corner.  And even when I had to re-calculate the state form yet again, the 2D bar code version changes accordingly, which is also kind of cool.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 09:39:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  we have online filing in the Purple State (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chingchongchinaman, shari


    of Virginia, but it always seems like I have to send in a big vanilla envelope. Yeah I did that on purpose.

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 09:51:39 PM PDT

    •  one thing I will say for the...... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shari

      ......backwards state where I live (MO) is that the tax form is pretty simple, at least for a singleton and when one has the correct federal form (and correct information).  Of course, thanks to idiot legislation years ago like the Hancock Amendment, we don't have the reserve funds that we should.  Granted, we're not a budget basket case like the state across the river (IL), which is much more of a Democratic stronghold on the whole.  This may inadvertently say something.....

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 10:17:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  For some reason, one of my income documents (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chingchongchinaman, shari

    was NOT in an envelope labelled "important tax information."  Caused a bit of deadline scrambling.

    •  that happens to me frequently (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chingchongchinaman, shari


      those are the years I file an amended return or an extension - or both.  Fortunately - not THIS year.

      "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

      by louisev on Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 11:04:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I did file an amended return some time back (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shari, Be Skeptical

        In retrospect, I think that it was for some relatively modest error of mine.  Nonetheless, I felt honor bound to file the amended return accordingly.

        "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

        by chingchongchinaman on Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 11:07:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I didn't suffer that situation, so my...... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shari

      ......problems were really more about me being more disorganized than usual, which is odd regarding taxes, since I'm normally pretty good at at least shoving them all into one file folder as they come in.  Not so much this year.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 11:06:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yeah gotta love the disorganization thing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chingchongchinaman, shari


        in years when my workaholism was really really bad I'd be doing so many jobs I couldn't remember all of the things I needed to put in my tax return, and I'd have to constantly go back to the bank for bank statements.  Good thing I've got 'good' banking arrangements with a small regional credit union type bank.

        "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

        by louisev on Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 11:11:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  one interesting thing this year, compared to.... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shari, Be Skeptical

          .....last year, is that my return got re-calculated by someone at the IRS, which ended up being a little big higher.  Admittedly, that was sometime after April 15.  Probably no such luck this year.

          "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

          by chingchongchinaman on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 12:06:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The definition of RUDE (3+ / 0-)

    is having to do MY OWN tax returns after preparing over 100 for clients.

    This year's late tax legislation caused havoc at the IRS, State agencies and at software providers. Most of my clients couldn't even be e-filed until March.

    Your diary takes me back to the dawn of my career, when I was preparing everybody by hand. I would do them in pencil, and file photocopies. No laser printers.

    Those were NOT the days!

    •  back in the day, oh yeah, same with me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mother Shipper

      In fact, I still have those photocopies of the old tax returns.  I probably don't need them, but.....well, you know.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 09:53:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  3 years is good in most cases..... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chingchongchinaman

        6 years is good if fraud is only civil...
        No statute for non-filing or criminal fraud.

        So yeah...hang on to em!

        •  knowing me..... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mother Shipper

          ......I'll no doubt hang on to the old tax records for a while.  Even with the new ones, I have both hardcopy records and the digital forms, the latter prior to signing.

          "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

          by chingchongchinaman on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 09:12:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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