Monday, March 16, 2009

I'm the "Tax Man"

Crawling out of bed before 4:30 this morning, I brewed a pot of coffee and sat down at the computer to get our taxes done. Normally, I have them done before most people even know it's "that time of year." I've been doing it on the computer for years, and it's not much of a problem, since everything is downloaded from previous years' taxes, and all I have to do is add this year's numbers and answer the online questions. 

We have a PC that's not been used for much of anything but the taxes. At least, it's not supposed to be used for anything else. For some reason, this year John decided to see if he could give it an overall checkup. He decided it wasn't really running fast enough. He started by adding some spyware (which logic would tell me wouldn't make it run faster) and running some utilities on it. I laughingly told him something to the effect of, "If you screw up the tax files, you're going to be sorry you were ever born." He probably was for a day or two. Now it's got a new operating system, and no tax files.

Of course, I had to start from scratch, and they're more complicated than ever this year, since John's doing consulting work out of state now, but paying his own transportation and per diem. He's been hiding in his HAM room downstairs today, but did run out to A&W for our dinner. At least I'm doing it on the Mac now, which he touches at his peril. He's definitely not a Macintosh person. 

I finally closed up shop about 6:30 tonight, although I'm not quite done. I still have questions. There are things I just don't know and answers I can't seem to find. For example: can a writer who has never been published deduct the expenses of a Writer's Conference and Workshop from Income Taxes? Who knows? If it's in the tax codes, I can't find it. Apparently I can deduct mileage to and from the conference, and the computer I do the writing on. I think.   

I'm so brain dead at this point, I almost wish we had just paid to have someone else do it. Then, of course, we'd be in the same spot next year. I hate having to pay somebody else to do something I can do myself, but it's been a very long day. Like I told John, if you can't help me, just stay out of my way and pray for me.

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