Saturday, January 30, 2016

Deep In Taxes

Notes on preparing our tax returns after one year of full retirement . . .
  • ·         When we were working, we reported income from two W2 forms, one for each of us.  This year we have to report incomes from six 1099 forms, all from the same annuity.  Why I don't know.  So we have to add six separate incomes, six separate federal income tax totals, six state income tax totals (with dollars rounded off for them)—all of which totaled a fraction of our original salaries.  So much for the simple life of a retiree.
  • ·         It appeared initially that because of my age I might qualify for a $15,000 break on my state taxes.  Was I 62 and receiving Social Security exempt retirement benefits?   Yes, I was!  Er, maybe not.  I was 62 and receiving benefits that were exempt from social security taxes.  But upon reading more deeply, it appears they meant to ask was my original working income exempt from social security taxes.  It wasn’t.  I’d forgotten that some people have jobs where they don’t have to pay social security taxes.  They now get this break also.  Not me.  Lucky sots.
  • ·         Here are the IRS torture-mongers at their finest.  One of the forms I had to complete because I have an Individual Retirement Account required me to take the amount from line 5 ($2,950) and divide it by line 9 ($14,968).  Fun stuff if you don’t have a calculator handy.  Then take the decimal result and round it to three places.  Then multiply line 9 by that decimal result.  Again, fun stuff . . .  The answer is $2,948.  So why not just skip this whole division/fraction-rounding/multiplication exercise and let us use the original number from line 5, which is easier and actually more accurate?  They’re out to get you; that’s why.
  • ·         A couple weeks ago someone left a message on our answering machine stating that agents from the U.S. treasury were taking action against us, implying that we had done something wrong on our taxes.  We needed to urgently call them back at a number they gave us.  I recognized the scam from my latest AARP magazine.  So I ignored the call.  If the worst happens and I’m hauled off to federal prison, I figure I’ll have plenty of time to finish my taxes.  So it’s still good.
         When it’s all done, we’re planning to take a vacation.  I’ll need a break.  So we’re going to Taxes.  Arggghhh.  I meant Texas.

       P.S.   I had JUST posted this blog when Wendy handed me a bank statement we just got in the mail.  It was for a small amount of interest on her savings account.  Now I have to re-do it all.  ARGGGHHHHH!