April 2, 2008

Argh Taxes!

Well the good news is they're done. Bad news is we owe this year.

It never is a pleasant experience, but it is one of those things you just can't avoid (just put of until April). As life gets more complicated so do our taxes. Back when I was single working for a paycheck, my tax return was a single page and could be filled out in like 20 minutes.

Now the wife and I own a home which adds complexity, but also some great deductions. Being self-employed adds a whole bunch of time and effort to the tax return. I guess I could eliminate some of the pain by paying someone else to do it, but its one of those things I am capable of doing so I can't justify spending the money. Plus it seems more time is spent sorting through your records and figuring out the totals to hand over. At that point it seems silly to have someone just plug them into the forms.

Preparation was a little more time consuming this year - all my fault. I let my desk become a pile of receipts and statements.

Much worse than the proverbial shoe box accounting. Well now the desk is clean and everything is filed where it should be. It was a crappy week, but now that it is all done it feels nice.

As a side note, many of the IRS forms show an estimated time to complete. For example, schedule C (profit or loss from a business) shows:

Recordkeeping.....1hr. 18 minutes
Learning about the law or form.....24 minutes
Preparing the form.....1 hr.
Copying, assembling and
sending the form to the IRS
.....20 minutes

Even if I hadn't left myself such a pile to sort through, this seems a little optimistic. Of course a lot of the forms are interrelated, so it is hard to know where I'm spending all my time.


Holly said...

Hey! I recognize that Grover! He's the bright spot in that crazy mess.

Anonymous said...

That system looks completely audit proof! :-)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, you got it done! Now you can enjoy your vacation without them hanging over your head.

PS - Thanks for the laugh - I thought my desk was bad. :) Love the Grover!