Well, it’s that time of year again, friends and neighbors! Aren’t you excited? Woot! Yep, it’s time to do your taxes.
I’ve been putting it off for weeks as I collected one unopened envelope after another and stuffed it next to my computer until there was a pile too big to ignore.
Time to Bite the Bullet.
Ok, it’s Saturday and I’ve been sick all week, but it’s quiet right now so maybe I could just open those envelopes and sort them out a bit. Tally up the important basics and get an idea of what I’m looking at.
I dreaded doing this last year which is why we took our taxes to H&R Block and had someone else do them. I ended up paying about $1,500.00 to Uncle Sam and $350.00 to H&R Block. When they called me a few days ago to ‘set up my appointment’ I very politely told them; No thank you.
There’s no sense in actually paying to get it rammed up “Main Street”…well, unless you’re into that sort of thing. For myself, I am not, at least no under just circumstances. 🙂
So here I sat making my basic list and I thought; Well, that doesn’t look so bad. Let’s try it out.
I posted to my FB page for suggestions on Tax Sites/Software recommendations but only received one from Miss Nicole. She suggested Credit Karma but I declined. I looked at reviews and went with TurboTax instead.
First…technology can be a wonderful thing. I discovered that today as I began inputting W-2 information and the Wonderful Gods of the Digital Domain bestowed upon me the power to have them ‘unlocked’ by TurboTax and everything imported without me having to type every single item in every single box. That WAS quite nice. Yes, yes, it was. I like it a lot.
Second….technology can be a real pain in the butt. There was no way to make it understand that my hubby LIVED in Massachusetts for a number of months for WORK and had EXPENSES (like $600.00/month RENT) incurred because of said job. I tried to figure out the ‘mileage’ and ‘travel expenses’ thing…what a pain in the freakin’ ass! From what I was finally able to ascertain, NONE of it was deductible.
Third…you ‘old timers’ know what a tumultuous year 2016 was for my family. Hubby was employed then he was unemployed then he was employed in MA renting a room up there then he came home and was employed that employment went from full-time to part-time, finally near the end of 2016 he became employed at his present position.
Did you get all that?
Fourth…hubby was in a car accident his very first day on the job in MA. Yep, damn near totaled his car! You know, the one we just acquired less than a year before, spent $9,500.00 on, was smart enough to purchase the $1,700.00 ‘extended warranty’ and went back and forth and back and forth and back forth for MONTHS with the dealership/garage over having it repaired under said warranty to the tune of ANOTHER $9,000.00. That THEY paid for until the car was in perfect running condition, thank-you-very-much.
Yeah, THAT car.
After said accident and with no real options available to us, we had to tap one of his IRA plans that we’d just transferred to our local bank. We paid a ‘substantial penalty for early withdrawal’ to Uncle Sam and (eventually) got the car repaired. While the car was being repaired we paid $175.00/week for a rental car for at least a month and a half. That car was used almost solely for him to from his MA apartment to his MA job except on weekends when he came home to CT. We got the car repaired, we got the car back, (it was still f’d up for a very long time!) and he continued to use it to go from his MA apartment to his MA job and pray it made it home to CT on weekends for a few weeks.
Of course there was the price of his meals while he lived in MA and the added cost of ‘luxuries’ like electricity, gas, cable/wifi (which he roommate didn’t pay the bill on and got cut off!)
Fifth…I could not find a single way–that’s absolutely legal and makes some type of sense–to deduct any of those expenses.
Sixth…the money withdrawn from the IRA (that was used entirely to pay for repairs to the car) counted as ‘Income’ insofar as Uncle Sam was concerned. ‘Income’ that was not already taxed.
Seventh…so was the Unemployment money hubby received while he was between jobs.
Eighth…being Unemployed is NO excuse to go without Health Insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Not even if you become Unemployed AFTER the ‘Exchanges’ have closed.
Ninth…we got whacked with an ‘Obamacare’ tax for going roughly six months without health insurance that was NOT affordable (if we had to buy it on our own…COBRA was $2,000.00/month!) and I didn’t even have the slightest clue might even be available to us under the ACA.
Tenth….just to add a little tiny bit of Salt to the Wound…I made $180.00 on my book sales last year and Uncle Sam wants me to report every dime of it.
Eleventh: When I tried to enter our MEDICAL bills for last year a) it was totally convoluted and complicated! b) after I managed it…it didn’t make a difference. Keep in mind that, bottom line minimum we paid $100.00/week for his blood thinner. Out out-of-pocket expense on just that one prescription alone was nearly $1,800.00
Twelfth: I own a home! Woot!
Thirteenth: Sorry, Charlie, we see that you paid a crap wad in Mortgage payments and Property Tax but you can’t deduct it.
Fourteenth: Turbo Tax SAYS…even though you paid out ALL of this extra money this year in interest, taxes, working expenses and medical bills…you’re still better off with the ‘Standard Deduction’.
So…in the end, for the year 2016 we OWE Uncle Sam $4,000.00. The Great State of Connecticut $500.00 and, for some unknown reason, the Great State of Massachusetts $300.00
$4,700.00 on top of the $3,200.00 we’ve already paid.
Us. Little ol’ Us.
Yeah, I need to find out if the IRS takes ‘payment plans’ because that is SOOO NOT happening in one single payment, not without forgoing the mortgage payment and risking the loss of my ancestral home.
I told hubby we should have had more kids! I knew I should have gotten pregnant about 8 years ago when my, well, change-of-life-cycle began coming around. Well, ya know, not just because I wanted the tax deduction (which is awesome!) but because I still wanted a shot at the Son I never had. But, he wouldn’t agree, then about three years later he wanted to ‘try’.
Geez. Talk about Bad Timing!
Any-hoo…..As far as Uncle Sam in his very narrow field of vision can see, we MADE $80,000.00 this year.
On the Basis of All Technicality we did.
Except hubby saved for the 401k that we turned into an IRA when we rolled it over to our local bank then were forced to withdraw $11,000.00 from to make necessary car repairs so he could keep earning a living. Not to make excuses but, who could foresee that some dumb driver would STOP on the ON ramp to the HIGHWAY directly in front of him? I mean, seriously, who does that? We would have much rather left that money right where it was all happy-happy than to go through that experience.
We would have been very happy-happy if hubby hadn’t gotten another blood clot in his leg and ended up in the ER with ‘medical professionals’ screaming to admit him while were semi-insured. That’s a point where you’re just about to lose your coverage so the insurance company joins in with Uncle Sam to tag-team you without lube. They didn’t pay for his day in the hospital–it didn’t meet their criteria for payment. They never paid a single dime toward his Xarelto.
Equal joy would have come if I’d just been able to holdout another three weeks before nearly collapsing into Pequot Medical Center unable to catch my breath. I tried on that one…oh believe me, I’m a spiteful one…I tried to hold out! At that point we had NO insurance so they decided to ‘charge’ me $2,400.00 but would ‘reduce the bill’ by $1,000.00 because I was ‘uninsured’. Yes, that was their way of telling me and you and everyone else out there you are automatically over billed by at least $1,000.00. The whole 5-day supply of meds they prescribed to me was another $200.00 but I decided to forego the ‘nighttime cough medicine’ and only paid $96.00.
Oh yes, and bye-the-bye, Pequot totally forgot to tell me they saw a hiatal hernia on my regular old x-rays. I found that out only because I saved ALL of the paperwork Pequot gave me for when I was covered by insurance and could see a Pulmonologist without fear of losing my house….that was almost 3 months after my visit to Pequot. It was nice of the Pulmonary doctor to mention it to me as it answered so many things regarding my longtime digestive problems.
Fifteenth: I suppose one could say that the American Health ‘Care’ System is utterly broken. ‘Obamacare’ doesn’t really work, it tried, it makes a valiant effort but falls short of what is really needed. ‘Trumpcare’ will do the same but it will be worse. Yes, you might be able to ‘see your own doctor’ (as Obama once promised but was unable to deliver on) but the cost will NOT go DOWN. Why? Because Insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, doctors, hospitals, and every other person under the sun associated with the Modern Healthcare Establishment sets their OWN prices. The Government can’t do anything about it, such is the Free Market System. They will charge whatever the market will bear and it will bear a great deal under this system. C’mon, be honest, the vast majority of Americans WANT to be healthy. They WANT their MEDICAL NEEDS tended to. So, the price will only go up.
Sixteenth: No one will do the right and necessary thing to correct it because we’re all caught up in ourselves, you know, such as; I don’t want to pay for someone’s ______ because I ______________.
Seventeenth: Therefore, I’m willing to let X number of people die because of my ego/pride/selfishness/and-yes/religion.
Well, ya know,
Eighteenth: It’s people like The Orange One in the Oval Office who f* it up for the rest of us honest folk. No, contrary to his admission, not paying taxes does not make him ‘smart’ it makes him one cheapass son of a bitch. The one who refuses to release his Tax Returns because not paying taxes makes him ‘smart’. No, it makes him a freeloader.
Him the rest of his ilk that he’s installed into very powerful positions. You know, people they call “1% ers” and for good reason.
Nineteenth: It is estimated that a mere literal 1% of the ENTIRE POPULATION of the EARTH holds at least 50% of its wealth. Of that 1%, only EIGHT..yes, 8….own an entire half of it.That means 8 people own 25% of the wealth of the entire planet.
Eight. People. Eight.
It’s a quaint little idea, isn’t it?
The American Dream.
The illusion of Freedom.
Until the Bill Comes Due and it’s on the backs on the Little People to pay it.
But, of course, the only way those 8 people can make the other 7.1 billion pay it is if
I must say they’ve been quite successful.
They’ve divided us by race, creed, religion, gender, and geography.
To our great shame I must also say that we’ve let them do it to us. We bent over like a $2.00 whore on meth, a little Strawberry willing to do anything for another fix, another promise, another dime.
(Is that ‘slut shaming’? Too f’n bad!)
For Us and millions upon millions like Us, we’re not Whores. We won’t bend over. We’re just trying to eek out an honest living and to be understood when Life Happens. We shouldn’t penalized for it because we don’t make over $250,000.00/year or because we don’t have a Second Home or a Yacht or a big RV. We shouldn’t be penalized for it because we’re not a ‘Big Oil Company’ or an Orange Person in the Oval Office who makes beau coup bucks a year and doesn’t pay ANY taxes.
THOSE are the people/corporations who should be forced into paying their fair share of the load.
If not then the only thing left to believe is something that goes against a whole load of Religious Teachings and that is:
Behind which very quickly follows
But, you know, when it all comes out in the wash 8 Rich People or Not