Thursday, March 8, 2007

For a Wednesday, it was quite Taxing

Hey how about a post about This New Condo for a change? I seem to have really gotten off topic lately.

So I sucked it up and put a little pile of papers together in a manilla folder to take down to my friendly H & R Block yesterday. To the same woman has done my taxes there for years now, Carolyn. It's usually quite an easy affair... not much more than a W-2 (or 2 if I've been a really good sweepstakes winner), and some charitable deduction stuff. This year of course I had the whole home purchase thing to deal with, so I was nervous. How would it effect my return? Would I bring the correct paperwork? Which paperwork is the correct paperwork? How the hell did I end up with all this paperwork?

Carolyn was really nice, as usual. She reminds me of Grace, the secretary in the principal's office at Ferris Beuller's high school (also the car rental lady in Planes Trains and Automobiles). A little TOO talky for my taste. For example I didn't need to hear about her experience shopping for a home in my neighborhood several years ago and being scared away by the pimps and ho's that used to be a familiar sight 'round these parts. Then again I may have shared a little too much with her too... she probably didn't need to know that my 12 months of Doctor's receipts were from my shrink, and she did seem a little taken aback when (while discussing professional affiliations and their deductible dues) I told her that I was a member of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. So I guess we both probably opened up a little more than necessary, but what's more personal than your W-2? Even P and I don't talk about stuff like that.

After all was said and done I was told that the Federal Government would be mailing me a nice check, and the state of Georgia would be doing the same. MasterCard is going to be very happy with me this month.

I did learn that there is something weird about the taxes on a new construction house/dwelling. Carolyn was baffled for a time by the lack of tax information on my closing documents and the tax form from my lender. I, of course, PANICKED for I knew this is EXACTLY what would happen! Someone screwed up and this was going to result in me having to go somewhere and ask someone for something and then return to Carolyn with the something to prove that the other document was incorrect, but then there would be something ELSE and WHY didn't I do this a month ago... and while all this was running through my head Carolyn turned to me and said, "This isn't new construction... is it?"

"Yes, yes... it's brand new," I panted. "No one had sat in my tub before I moved in. It's my first new dwelling, why?"

"Oh, well then we just have to check this box. OK. All better. Now where were those charitable deductions?" And with a click of the mouse we were past the rough patch and all was right in the world again! Well all was right in my head again anyway, the world is still pretty fucked up.

I am glad that it's all over and I feel good about the fact that I didn't wait till the very last minute to get it taken care of.

Carolyn suggested I change some things so that I pay less taxes during the year, which would equal more take home pay per check, but a smallish refund at tax time. I'm not sure if I want to do that. I like getting the fat refund at the end of the year. I'm much more likely to do productive stuff with a couple grand once a year than I am with an extra hundie every two weeks. What do y'all do? Overpay during the year and get a fat refund or pay a more reasonable amount and take home more each month?


My adventures said...

It's like forced savings, but on the other had, Uncle Sam earns the interest the money could earn for you. We get a nice refund every year and the interest would be about $150 over the year so ... that's a nice dinner or new shoes or something... I'm reading the Suze Orman books and trying to get better with our $$$. It's helping tons and before the end of the year, I hope to have it all figured out and start managing our money like she manages hers. Hey, she's got a $25 million liquid fortune, I admire her for that.

Brandon Vejseli said...

I'm glad you had a good experience with HR. I had them do my taxes when they were simple but when I bought my condo they had no idea what they were doing. I spent an hour with a woman before packing up my papers and walking out of their office never to return.

Paul said...

A big tax refund is always NICE. Tell that you'd actually save/stash/invest $100 each paycheck if you had less withheld?

I know I wouldn't.

Matt said...

I agree that "overpaying" throughout the year means The US of A gets the interest on our hard-earned money, which as a finance guy pisses me off ... but, I still opt to have more taken out of my pay every paycheck and get some kind of refund. It may mean less money overall to me, but it's kind of a gift to myself, and I know that one time a year I'll have a chunk of money that I can spend on something I wouldn't normally have the extra cash for.

Sorted Lives said...

I overpay -- I like that fat check in February!!

CondoBlogger said...

Sounds like we are all in agreement!

Thanks for all the input!

BriteYellowGun said...

I get my money up front with each paycheck and then take the smaller refund at tax time. This government doesn't need to make more money off of my hard earned money that I need more than they do.

Big Daddy said...

I'm all about the over paying as well. It's nice to start off the Spring with a big wad of cash.

Just wait until you get to deduct the interest on your mortgage. It doubled my returns after I bought my place.

kevin said...

First of all, what is a w-2?

I prefer to pay extra during the year and then get a rebate at the end of the year although i dont get back very much at all!

It is just coming to the end of the financial year here so i think i will get a bit back but it will be about $50 in my reckoning.

The only benefit about taking home the extra each fortnight would be that if you were really financial savvy then you could earn interest over the year on what extra you earn.

Have a great weekend.
Kev in NZ

Maddog said...

I'm glad the tax thing went well. I have to deal with mine over spring break next week. It's the one bad thing I have to do on vacation. I know already that I'll have to pay, so I'm not looking forward to it.

CondoBlogger said...

Kevin - a W2 is the form that one's employer supplies each employee near the beginning of each year. It shows your earnings for the year.

Also, I have to admit that the fact you used the word fortnight is a little bit of a turn on for some reason! LOL