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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the Columnists.com, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern
Humorists.com
  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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Tax Forms....
 


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 already. 

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 IRS." 

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 "no." 

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.

 


Copyright 2013 Sheila Moss
 
 



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