Tax Time

| 4/7/2014 10:35:00 AM

Mosquito Mountain Montana HomesteadTaxes ... uhgg!

What an ordeal! This is the first year in many years that we've had to seriously contend with the IRS. In a way that's good news but in other ways it isn't. The good news is that we finally made enough money that we need to file income tax returns. The bad news is all the hoops we had to jump through to calculate those taxes.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not opposed to paying taxes. We all benefit from a strong government. What I'm disgusted with is the overly complicated way those taxes are computed.

Our first mistake was in not seeing ahead. We were caught flat-footed and had not foreseen the myriad record keeping needed to properly take the deductions we had coming for our income as writers. That meant (literally!) days of going through receipts and vehicle records to find the deductions we were rightly entitled to take.

And while it's a lot like the farmer fixing the fence after the cattle escaped, we're doing much better at our record keeping this year.

Our second mistake was in not putting enough back to pay those taxes. What we should have been doing was estimating our taxes for the coming year and paying those in to the IRS on a quarterly basis (or at least establishing a savings account for the purpose so that we'd have it when we needed it!). Again, a little foresight would have saved a lot of work later in the year.

4/9/2014 3:36:44 PM

Steven, I GRIT (pun intended) my teeth and wade through my taxes as well. Mine are much less complicated then yours. Since I'm a single person with only interest on the house and charitable donations as tax deductions, I barely qualify for long form. In the not too distant future short form will be the only way I can go. Taxes are a necessary evil. ***** I have been in your situation. Once my wife decided to open a daycare in our home. Who knew that she would have to pay 15% social security instead of only 7.5%. Who knew it would boost me up into a higher tax bracket and get taxed at the higher rate on the combined income and not just hers. So after one year of extra income, it took three years to get the IRS paid up. The kids colored on the walls, broke toys, and terrorized our child. it was not a great experience.

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