Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Income Tax, Grrrr!

I have always done my own income tax, even in the days before there were tax programs that did all the mathematics.

A confession here, I am no good at arithmetic. My adding skills are lousy--even using a calculator. Despite all that I still did my own income tax. I was good at reading and understanding the instructions and often sent for the extra booklets and studied them. When something had to be added up I handed it to my husband, he has all the mathematical skills in our relationship.

I've never been audited, though I have received letters questioning me about things which I easily answered and cleared up without a problem.

Years ago when I was in the residential care business, when there was a question about a certain section in the tax law about people who took care of others and were paid, I was the lucky one chosen to go to the main Income Tax office and explain their own law to them. This resulted in my taxes being scrutinized and several phone calls from that office asking me questions about how I did this or that. A bit nerve-wracking, but they came over to our side.

Now for the first time I'm stymied and am going to have to see a professional tax person.

It has to do with a mutual fund we cashed in which lost more money for us than it earned. I have all the paperwork--though it took me forever to figure out exactly what it was--and now I don't have a clue how to put the information into the tax program I have. I've tried, believe me I've tried, but I'm not doing something right.

I'm losing sleep over it, so I give up. Why on earth do "they" have to make everything so difficult?

So that's my rant for this week. Hopefully, when next Tuesday rolls around I'll have the problem solved.

Now back to your regular scheduled and much lighter programming.



  1. If it makes you feel any better, I got audited at 16. Apparently my baby sitting and birthday money added up to a sum that had the tax man wondering if I was for real or if my folks were hiding money in my name. It wasn't even that much, somewhere around $800 give or take, so I couldn't figure out what the big deal was at the time. When I left high school to be picked up for my audit the school secretary said I had the best excuse she'd ever heard for leaving school and of course she laughed. Everything worked out in the end and included a handshake from my auditor who comended me for saving my money.

  2. Thanks, Anajli, that was not the least comforting, but definitely interesting and humorous. I babysat all the time when I was a kid, but never banked any of the 50 cents an hour I earned.


  3. Well, Marilyn, you're doing better than me! I couldn't do the math OR follow the directions!

  4. Marilyn, I used to do my own taxes but gave up once it required so many forms that just figuring out which I needed made my head spin. I go to the same CPA firm my grandparents used--and my parents use--and I love them. When things got even more complicated after I married Ed (who could do our taxes if not for my endless forms and pages of itemized deductions!), it was a relief to be able to tell him, "I know a really good CPA." Since I was already using them! Honestly, I'm so worn out by the time I organize my files and type up my deductions that I'm thrilled someone else is doing the real heavy lifting. ;-)

  5. We moved from Florida to Colorado. We now have state income tax. I will be going to see a tax guy next week, for the first time in years. I did it once when I had to deal with some investment income my father had set up (although all the 'income' was on paper) and I was working out of my home and needed the Schedule C stuff. After that, I knew where to put everything. But this year seems too scary, so we'll have to pay someone.

    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

  6. Thanks for you comments folks, nice to know I'm not alone.