Income Taxes

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I hate doing our income taxes.

Yes, I could pay someone to do them, but I’m not sure it’s worth it. I used to buy an income tax program, but with our current method of accessing the Internet the connection is too slow to download them. Tried that last year. Wasted all kinds of time trying to get it to work. Finally decided to get the forms and the instructions and do it myself.

We don’t have a mortgage. Every time I add up our medical expenses, it doesn’t meet the requirements to be deductible. We live simply and don’t have rental property. And we are not self-employed. That might change if I make any money from writing. Sadly, I haven’t made enough money from my first novel to need to file  Schedules C and SE. But even if I did, I don’t think that would be beyond my abilities.

We are both over 65 years of age and I could use the new 1040-SR form. I’ve looked at it and I’m fine with the standard 1040. Our state form doesn’t change much from year to year, so it’s fairly easy to figure out.

Mainly we take the standard deduction. I consider it to be generous. And now that we are both over 65 years of age, it’s even better.

It should be easy, right? But I always feel compelled to read the instructions in order to be certain that I am doing everything correctly. Have you tried reading those instructions?

And it isn’t always clear whether or not you need to include all the numbered schedules and worksheets  with the return when you mail it in. I don’t usually. And so far, it seems to have been okay.

I’ve made a good start on the Federal form in the last couple of days. I’ve checked my arithmetic and it looks good. Another couple of days and I should have both the Federal and State income taxes completed.

It occupies my mind to the exclusion of just about everything else. And my fact checking gets a bit obsessive:  Did we make too much money from the garage sale? Oh. Doesn’t matter how much you make really because you sell everything for less than you paid for it. So okay. Then, what about the money made from your jewelry making hobby? Is it really a hobby as defined by the IRS? Or is it a business? And on and on.

All in all, it wouldn’t seem to be too bad. Right?

What I really hate about it is the time it takes to get it all done. It’s time I could spend on writing, doing housework, walking Maddie, or, heaven forbid, goofing off for a little while.

I have a neighbor who does income taxes for clients. She pretty much disappears around the beginning of January and we don’t see her much for the next six months or so (some of her clients need filing extensions and the like). I don’t see the appeal. Not at all.

Okay, back to the grind.

Published by Dianne Lehmann

I'm a writer. But I'm also a wife and a mom to a couple of fur babies. You could call me a cook (but never a chef, I'm not that good) and provisioner as well. Laundress? Yeah. Probably. I design jewelry and I crochet. But mostly I love to write. I love words and how they sound. I love their meanings and origins. I love stringing them together. And of course, I love to read. Thinking about it just now, I realize that what I love most is life and the people around me with a special place set aside for my wonderful husband, our adorable dog and our inscrutable cat. It's the world and the people in it that fuels my writing. So thanks to you all for being the amazing beings that you are.

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