Tax Forms, Tax Forms, Tax Forms
It is only February
and I should not be worrying about income taxes until at least the
first of April, but I always start biting my nails at the end of
January when the tax forms start coming in the mail. I absolutely hate
tax season. I don't fully understand what can be deducted and what
cannot. It is going to be another nerve wracking year. I can tell
I have an accounting firm who has been doing my taxes
for the last 25 years. I know I could do it myself and save a bunch of
money, but something always comes up that I don't understand. I
receive these ominous forms in the mail with warnings like, "You
must claim this on your taxes as it is being turned in to the
Do people really received tax forms and not claim
them? I don't mess with the IRS. I have no intention of failing to
turn in anything. That sounds like the fast lane to a tax audit to me.
And I wouldn't claim any deduction without a receipt to prove it. Even
then, the entire process makes me nervous.
I'm hoping that since I retired this year, taxes will
be simpler next year and I won't have quite so many of these menacing
forms falling like rain from hell. But that's next year. This year I
still have to deal with it.
Let me see. I have this handy dandy check list that my
CPA sends me saying what I will need. Most of it doesn't apply to my
situation (I hope), but I always go down the list and put x's in the
"yes" or "no" box just to be sure. However, it is
a one-list-fits-all kind of a questionnaire. Since I don't own a
business or a stockbroker, that greatly increases the number of
"no" answers I can enter.
But there are a few questions that make me think, like
the one about foreign investments. My first inclination is
"no," but I did get that Canadian form. I only got involved
in it that savings plan because my employer would match my
contributions and I would be foolish not to take advantage of it. Who
knew they would invest funds in a foreign enterprise. Now I have the
same headache as people who actually do invest money.
So what else is on this checklist anyhow? Forms W-2,
Forms 1099, Forms 1098. So far, so good, forms, forms, forms. And then
that big catch all category – "all other supporting
documents." Well, that pretty much can be anything, can't it?
Next item: "Any tax notices received from the IRS." I would
have called them long before now if I was getting notices from the
IRS. The rest of the items pertain to partnerships,
corporations, or real estate transactions which are a fast
Then I come to something new on the list: Insurance
Marketplace Statement. So, that's how they get you if you don't have
health insurance and probably how they know how much your subsidy
should be. I wondered how that worked. Interesting. Thank goodness I
don't have to worry about that one. I had enough trouble trying to
figure out Medicare.
So, I need to gather up all my documents right now and
take the entire mess to my CPA. Maybe next year will be better and not
as complicated. Of course, I think that every year and it never seems
to happen -- same old April 15th song and dance year after year.
Why worry now? I will sweat it out until the last
minute then panic and spend several days flipping through papers,
trying to do what I should have done in January. But, it is only
February, so I won't worry about right now. Plenty of time left.