I am not the biggest fan of doing my taxes (is anyone?). They aren’t the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, nor even the most complicated, but the sheer volume of stuff I have to consider gets overwhelming sometimes. There’s the home business and college tuition and medical expenses and student loan interest and more ‘worksheets’ and ‘schedules’ than library of bureaucracy can handle. I put this off for … well, as long as I can usually (in anticipation of the check I’ll have to write to the government …), but tonight after a million forms, 3 hours, and a pot of coffee, I have a tentatively completed tax return.
Shit, dude. That took forever.
Now, you’re thinking, “Why in the world doesn’t she go somewhere and have someone else do her taxes?!”
That’s a damn good question. I had my taxes professionally done once, a number of years ago when I started the business and was terrified of screwing up the fancy schmancy business tax forms. It cost me $85, and that was only because I knew the lady who did them pretty well. Apparently many other people pay much more than that. Ick!
After parting with both the $85 check to the tax preparer and the giant check to the IRS, I couldn’t help but think there could be another option. I can read. I’m pretty good at following directions. I can add and subtract, and in the event those skills fail, can handily operate a calculator. Why not do them myself?
Doing my taxes by hand each year is kind of like getting your teeth cleaned. You know you have to get it done, and that it won’t be the worst thing that ever happened to you, but it’s still not up there on the “Top 4,872 Things I’d Like To Do With An Afternoon” list. Once it’s over, though, time fades the memories and come next year I’m ready to do it again. I’m pretty certain this has everything to do with my inability to part with money so someone can tell me to part with more money and nothing to do with any kind of mad tax preparing skills or enjoyment I get out of the process.
I’m a penny pincher by (nature? no) necessity, and short of something being physically painful or actually beyond my skill set (or ability to acquire a new one via everyone’s friend, The Internet), I just c-a-n-n-o-t bring myself to pay exorbitantly for it.
And look, the taxes are done (both state and federal), in all their 238 more forms than could possibly be necessary glory, and I lived to write about it.
I don’t owe them any money this year!
Even better than that?
They’re paying me.
YAY! I’m thinking a nice dance around the living room while no one is looking is in order in honor of this occasion.
How do you do your taxes? Do you love it? Hate it? Begrudge it? Are you crazy enough to be (gasp! no!) an accountant or some such?