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Monday, April 7, 2014

Taxes

It took four hours and two brain tumors, but we finally finished our taxes. We were way later than we usually do them, but we had to find a time when both of us were at the same place at the same time.

Taxes take all the joy out of freelancing. I'm pretty good at keeping accurate records but it still takes forever to document each and every job. And let's not talk about the deductions.

When we were near the end, I found two more deductions for Book Cover Diva, but Turbo Tax (the software we used) wouldn't let us go back to my business deductions. We could access all the other deductions but not the ones for the business. 

I finally gave up and let it go. It wasn't worth a third tumor.

Do you do your own taxes?

***

I'm really beginning to get a sense of Greg's retirement. Next week, my favorite house and dog sitter is taking care of the homestead while I do last minute updates at Casa South.

It's all starting to get very real. It's already made some changes in how the rest of the year will pan out. One of those changes is the newsletter I planned to put out. I think I'm going to wait until Greg is truly retired. Right now I'm doing a dozen things at once and I don't want to get distracted.

Tank is constantly on our minds too. He's slowed down some more, but still in good spirits. When that second part changes, we know we'll have to make some hard decisions. But not today. He still wants his cookies!


31 comments:

Stacy McKitrick said...

Yeah, I do my own taxes. I'm cheap that way. Heck, I didn't even buy tax software until I started claiming my writing as a business. Then I was able to use the software as an expense (see...cheap!).

One of these days though, I'll see the time it takes and maybe think it'll be worth it to have a professional do it (time is money, right?). But I have an accounting degree, so sometimes I think I SHOULD be the professional! :)

Angela Brown said...

I'm not quite comfortable yet to do my own taxes. It was easier when I wasn't claiming my writing as a business, but since I work and I work-on-what-I-love, and have other nitpicky things to worry about, I use the HR Block that is open year round instead of one of pop-up locations.

You just take your time and get things in order as you see fit so you can address the various things you want to do at your leisure.

Hugs to Tank and of course to all the darling barkers.

Mike Keyton said...

It sounds a scary and exhilarating time to be in, Maria. I'm sorry about the tax headache and Tank. Our taxes are relatively simple, but I still freeze when confronted with anything official.

Diane Carlisle said...

We do our own taxes, but we wait until the last day...at the last hour. :(

It can be painful.

Rebekah Loper said...

We do our own taxes. Even with the little bit of income I get freelancing randomly (ie: tax form complications, lol) throughout the year, I just can't find it in me to pay for someone else to do them. Especially since I have access to several free filing options through our state tax commission website.

However, we do ours usually the first half of February, because we almost always get a refund, and at that point we're in desperate need of it, lol. I've never waited until April 14/15.

I used to use Turbo Tax, but ran into frustrations of not being to go back and edit things at times (like you), and I also found that they were starting to 'estimate' lower refunds for me. So I switched to H&R Block, and we've had better refunds and a smoother filing experience ever since. You might look into it next year!

I've never had a problem going back and adding/changing things with H&R.

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: How can you have an accounting degree and not do your own taxes? Madness! ;)

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: It's not that hard with the tax software, but if you have a lot of 'little' monies coming in it can get complicated fast.

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: Anything official gives me hives. LOL. I'm not fit for a life of crime.

Maria Zannini said...

Diane: We try not to wait because I get so anxious leaving something important undone. This year it was so hard for both of us to be together at the same time that we had no choice but to wait.

Maria Zannini said...

Rebekah: We might try the H&R Block software next year. Anything to make life simpler.

Sarah Ahiers said...

Kisses and hugs to you and all the dogs and critters!

I do do (heh) my own taxes, but they're really straightforward for me. I have one job, am single and own a house with my sis. Done.

But when the money starts to come in from the writing, i plan to hire an accountant. I don't want to deal with any of that.

Maria Zannini said...

Sarah: When we raised the big birds, we used an accountant because we dealt with a lot of money (incoming and outgoing). We loved her! It didn't hurt that she also had adorable pugs and one Great Dane. After we talked money, we always talked about the dogs.

Anna Soliveres said...

Hi Maria, Thank you for sharing this. I personally worried about how affected I would be (from a tax perspective) once I self-published and personally sold my own books, while working a full-time job. Having been in a relationship with a CPA, I learned very quickly that there were plenty of opportunities to take advantage of deductions. I now work with a professional tax preparer and she has helped so much in easing my mind and helping me find many deductions. I'd highly recommend working with a professional who you trust, who doesn't have a huge portfolio of clients, and has the patience to answer questions. Hope that helps.

Jackie Burris said...

Maria for our own poece of mind we pay Jackson Hewitt every year and as of 2014 we only have 3 pieces of paper to deal with rather than 20 odd so next year may be the first time we do our own in 15 years.

Happy things are finally coming into focus for you and Greg in the future, it does take some time for sure when hitting a couple milestones at once.

Shirley Wells said...

I do my own taxes and I hate everything about it. It seems to take forever.

Sending hugs to Tank - and all of you.

Michelle H. said...

I do my own taxes, but I work through H&R Block. Better to have that backing so the IRS doesn't look too closely at all my freelance stuff. I usually get them done the first week of January. It's the state taxes I hate the most.

H&R Block will let you do it for free, except for the state. They also have a paid version (it's $19.99) When you add in the state filing costs (36.99) and processing costs, it comes out to $60 and change. I've been doing the paid one for about 5 years now.

Michelle H. said...

Oh, and Rebekah is right. H&R Block is a breeze with filing and changing stuff. And I receive my refund really fast (I think is was two weeks after the IRS started processing tax returns.)

Maria Zannini said...

Anna: We had an accountant for a while but she lives too far away now. Once Greg retires our accounting should be simpler. We'll have to see if mine gets any easier. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie: I'm hoping things will get easier after next year. We don't mind doing our own, but the software has to meet us at least half way.

Maria Zannini said...

Shirley: Thanks, Shirley. Tank is becoming fragile so we've been even more attentive than usual. We just want him him to enjoy whatever life is left to him.

Maria Zannini said...

Michelle: Thanks for adding your recommendation. Turbo Tax is getting more and more persnickety. I think it's time we changed software. I'm glad I posted this to get other people's experience with other software.

raelynbarclay said...

{{hugs}} to Tank and may he want his cookies for a long time.

Yes, we do our taxes, unless we had something majorly different or beyond our knowledge to account for. I can only think of three years we've had someone else prepare them.

We've usually used Turbo Tax as well, though That Man got frustrated with it this time so we may look at other programs next year.

Good luck with everything on your plate and enjoy this next phase of your lives.

Darke Conteur said...

Do I do my own taxes? No. Never have. I don't have a head for math or anything that remotely looks like math. My MIL does mine; it's always been simple since I didn't have any income, but this year should be interesting as I finally made some money on my books.

As long as Tank still wants his cookies, he's good. :) Yeah, don't worry about the newsletter until things are more settled. At least that's one thing you don't have to worry about.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I'm pulling for Tank. I hope having both of you there will make him even happier. I don't do my own taxes, thank goodness, or I'd be dead from tumors already.

Maria Zannini said...

Raelyn: We're going to try H&R Block next year. Turbo Tax burned their own bridge this year.

Re: Tank
The day food is no longer important to him is the day we know he's crossed the Rubicon. He's been a foodie since the day we got him. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Darke: I have a niece who's an accountant, but she lives too far away. I'd hate to bother her with our taxes. She's busy enough.

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: We know this is probably his last year. He walks very slowly but he's so happy to be with us that we just modify our movements to match his.

If his body betrays him we'll have to intercede, but until then we'll do what we can to keep him comfy.

LD Masterson said...

Stan does our taxes, for which I'm eternally grateful.

Give Tank a cookie from me. Oh heck, give one to Iko, Maggie, and Nana, too. (Then sneak Tank an extra.)

Jennifer Shirk said...

We don't do our own taxes only because my hubby has his own business and investments and whatnot. It'd be a mess if we did. LOL

Maria Zannini said...

Linda: Greg does our taxes too. I supply the coffee cake and all the documents. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Jennifer: Every time we do our taxes, I long for a flat tax and be done with it.