Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Annual Tax Dramatics

Please won't you do this next year, John?
I don't want to do it.
Well, neither do I!
But you have so much experience, honey...

I always know when he calls me honey that he's either about to tell me something he knows I don't want to hear, or he's forgotten my name. I don't think he's ever really forgotten my name, but I always remember my dad singing that famous old song, "Let Me Call You Sweetheart, I Forgot Your Name." I was a teenager before I heard the correct lyrics. I wasn't terribly surprised, though, knowing him. After the fiasco with "Walking In Our Winter Underwear," I didn't trust any of his lyrics...

Well, back to the taxes. That was the topic, I believe. After hours with this annual nightmare, I find myself asking the same old questions. Does everybody lose receipts? Forget to mark the mileage after a 3,000 plus mile business trip? I had to go through a stack of gas station receipts that (luckily) we always write mileage on, to figure out the ending trip mileage by the date when we stopped to fill the tank just before arriving home. Numbers that should be so easy to plug in sometimes took me an hour to find today. That just shouldn't happen.

Then, of course, there were the two hours of work I did adding up the separate columns of medical expenses. Mileage goes in one column. Prescriptions go into another. Doctor bills get tabulated together while lab tests and mammograms, that sort of thing are another category. Glasses and things are separate. You can't just add these things together, you know. They go in different slots. Another slot is for your health insurance costs. At the end of the two hours, when I plugged in all the numbers, we were about $150 underneath what we needed to have it make any difference.

I could go on. Perhaps I could make it sound funny, but for some reason I'm just not laughing. I called my friend when I'd had enough and decided to quit for the day. I told her I was grumpy and disgusted that it had to be this complicated. She laughed, as I figured she would. She's good for me. (Thanks, Sherrie.) Then she was quiet while I complained that tomorrow I qualify for Social Security. So do I get a check? Oh, heavens no...

I just qualify tomorrow. That means I'm old enough tomorrow, so the paperwork had to be done two months ago so it can be processed this month. So do I get my check next month? No. It'll be official next month. I'm not sure what that means. Official. It's government language meaning we're going to make you wait another month and a half. I'll get my first check the middle of April. They actually sent me real numbers, though, and if I live through October of my 112th year, I'll get back everything I've paid into the program and can start collecting what my employers contributed. Now I'm tired.


sherrie said...

Uggh, I'm sure glad I don't have to do the taxes any more ;) Thanks for helping me remember that!

Ri said...

I hate taxes.
Hopefully you're not doing them today - so you can enjoy your day! Happy Birthday!