Got the Tax Monkey Off My Back

Friday, April 11, 2008

The past few days I've gotten a lot done. Monday was "don't panic, but taxes are due" day. I've always done my own taxes as we really don't have a complicated return. This year, the federal was similar to last years with the exception of all the necessary home-sale stuff.

The state return was different. I had to report to 2 states... both Illinois and Wisconsin... as a partial year resident. And neither state allows partial year residents to "file-for-free" online. So I did it the old fashioned way... printed out the forms and instructions, then read, looked up information, calculated, read more... let's see, enter the amount from line 15b on form 2211 to line 23 on form 1040NRR... then multiply that number by the percentage (carried to four decimal places) calculated by dividing line 35 by line 31 on form NP. It was enough to drive a man to drink.

It was a little more complicated for us this year, but I try to convince myself that there's a side-benefit to all that toil and sweat -- being a little more tuned into the complexities of the tax system in the good ol' USA. Most people have long-since given up on doing their own taxes, preferring to pay others to deal with the hassle. But by doing so, one gives up the first hand knowledge of what a mess it really is.

Taxes flowed over into Tuesday morning and the rest of the day I cleaned out some files, got our budget and expense tracking up to date, paid some bills, ran a couple errands, and organized the office area of the camper. It just plain felt good to get a lot done.

True to expectations, it's been cold, cloudy, and rainy through Thursday, yesterday. But this morning, Friday, we woke to sun and the promise of at least two or three days of abnormally nice weather. The solar system will get a full workout today.



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