Even though I could certainly afford to have someone help me do my taxes, I feel very strongly that I should not be forced by the government to pay someone to help me figure out how much I owe government. That and I consider myself a pretty sharp guy. This year though…I’m getting close.
What I really dislike about taxes is how they treat people like Turing machines. Add lines 1 through 3. Subtract line 5 from line 4. Multiply line 10 by 25% (.25) and enter the smaller of the result or line 7 above. Or my personal favorite thus far:
Are you filing Schedule A? If No: Skip lines 1 through 3; enter on line 4 the amount from Form 1040, line 38, minus the total of (a) any amount from Form 8914, line 2, and (b) if you are claiming the standard deduction, any amount from line 6 of the Standard Deduction Worksheet on page 35. Then go to line 5.
A sphincter says what? I literally had to go fill out another worksheet just to level up.
It’s worse than watching TV. I can feel myself getting dumber by the minute, obediently entering numbers I don’t understand, for reasons they don’t explain, trying to remember which line on which form the number I’m calculating refers back to. All the while I’m thinking to myself, why doesn’t a computer just do this for me!
Anyway, here are some examples of the tax fun I’m looking forward to this week:
- Due to an unexpected bonus I received in 2008, I over-contributed to my Roth IRA, which means I need to finish my taxes in order to figure out how much I should have contributed, so I can withdraw the excess (all at a loss, considering the market conditions) in order to submit yet another form along with my taxes.
- Like the previous 2 years, I get to fill out 2 extra forms (Schedule C-EZ and Schedule SE) just for the fun of having Google AdSense on my blog—which added ~$1700 to my gross income this year.
- I exercised some vested incentive stock options (ISOs) in 2008, which may or may not have any effect on my taxes or whether I might owe the dreaded alternative minimum tax (AMT).