April 15, 2008

Hours to Spare

Finished up my taxes this morning, with the assist of TaxAct (online preparation and filing of both state and federal returns for about $25).

I've been doing my taxes for so many years that I have a system - I create a large spreadsheet (actually, just copy it from the previous year), with 365 rows and columns for every major expense category: medical, charity, taxes, and many business expense categories.

Then, I go through my records: personal and business checking accounts. Credit cards. IRA. HSA. PDA calendar. EZ-Pass records. Paper receipts (filed in the obligatory shoebox). All entered into the spreadsheet. Then I drop the sum of each category into the appropriate Schedule C form.

Not much trauma. I netted a bit more than last year. I paid about the same taxes. I get $200 back from the Feds and owe the state about the same amount.

What is scary is that TaxAct will compare ones return to average returns - and according to that, I have significantly lower deductions, and pay significantly higher taxes, than others in my income bracket. Only slightly depressing.... I'm not particularly creative when it comes to tax accounting, I have to believe some people are just making stuff up.

I am, however, just happy to have them done.

No comments: