My apologies in advance for the brief blog this week. There is a very good reason for this. Yesterday, I literally spent most of the day taking care of our taxes. Mind you, I don't actually do the taxes. We have a super competent CPA who takes care of this for us. However, I can't just dump everything in a box that may be tax related and turn it over to him.
Now that we have used him over the years, I know what to expect and try my best to keep files organized so that when TAX TIME arrives, it will not be a nightmare for me to gather what he needs to help us. He does his part by providing an organizer that he sends in the mail right after January 1 of each year. It has information that he used from the previous year and a place where I can write in what changes there were for the past year. So, I do know some of the basics. Do I understand them all or the government vocabulary always? NO! All I can do is try my best. My best made my brain turn to mush by 4 p.m. yesterday.
Basically the reasons were that we had several major changes. One in that Steve's retirement was a half year into the previous year so this year he had his 401k pension, as did I. Then, because I had not reached the age for Medicare until December, Cobra insurance was 11 months for me and 1 month on Medicare, plus all the other things that go with it. It meant copies of this and copies of that. I just want to try to make it easy for this person who has the talented ability to crunch numbers to help us pay what we need to and yet nothing over.
When I think about people who make so much money that I can't wrap my head around their wealth, I know that they have so many loopholes and it is of my belief that they are not paying their fair share. I am sure that we are. It sure seems like there must be a much more equitable way to spread out what people owe based on their income.
A person who becomes a CPA must have a passion about accounting and I already know that I am not a detailed oriented person. I am much more into the big picture which does not put in the category of an accountant. I would do better to become one of people that tax companies hire to dress up as The Statue of Liberty or Uncle Sam to walk up and down the sidewalk on a busy street advertising the Tax Company they work for.
There are so many items that one may qualify for itemized deductions that it is just mind boggling to me. There are new things added or deleted each year so that it is very important that you keep up to date with this information. There are costs that if they exceed a certain percentage of a person's adjusted gross income, then they are no longer eligible or maybe they then may increase eligibility.
Because there are two writers in our household, not yet published but working on novels, blogs, attending workshops and needing to subscribe to Writers' magazines, this is something that must be added in as a business deduction.
This is the last sign I want to see on our tax returns. But if it does come down to that, I want to have our trusted friend working with us to fix whatever needs to be fixed and finding whatever paperwork the IRS needs to be satisfied. Our taxes, I am sure are not the most complicated to a professional. To me it may as well be Greek. That is why I try my best to get what our CPA needs in some kind of order. To say the least for this particular year, my brain was taxed. The good news is that it won't be once I turn it over to his office tomorrow morning.