Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Tax Man Cometh

It's nearly the end of March, and I haven't finished my taxes yet. This is the latest I've ever been. Of course, there are very good excuses: I went to a February mystery conference in Alabama (Murder in the Magic City & Murder on the Menu), then I went to Left Coast Crime in mid-March and then directly to Las Vegas for an author event. And---I've been writing seven days a week since returning from Left Coast to get back on track with my current Kelly Flynn mystery due in June. All good reasons.

But---the real time "devourer "are the other regular life concerns that take away those odds & ends of time that authors and other small business owners normally use to check the year's business receipts, credit card bills, checkbooks, etc. All of us have other stuff going on in our lives. With some people it's family--kids, parents, spouses can have traumas going on in their lives and need our support. With some people, it's health issues, their own health or other family members. With others, it's the demands of their daytime jobs. And for some folks---it's the even more serious concerns of having LOST their daytime jobs. For me, I have a 90 year old mother who lives in an independent living retirement home in town. Believe me, I try to do things with her regularly. Ninety years is a gift.

Then sometimes, we just make choices. This weekend, I spent an entire day writing a 22-page chapter in the current Kelly mystery. It was a very special chapter, filled with relationships and sports, and action, and a lot of fun and laughter. I wanted to catch the rhythm of the scenes and not let it drop, so I kept on going. All day and into the evening. Taking breaks for meals, of course. :)


It took all Sunday. Sundays afternoons were often when I'd grab a couple or three hours to work on my taxes. Not this time. So---I have no one to blame but myself for the slowdown. I chose to use my time differently. I don't regret it, even though tax crunch time is staring me in the face now. Let's be honest--writing is a heckuva lot more fun than working on taxes.


But, now----I see the Tax Man in the distance, coming closer, so I'd better get busy. I really don't want to meet this guy face-to-face. How about you, folks? How are you doing on the income tax front? Have you finished/haven't started/ignoring them/or plan to file an extension and plead for mercy?

22 comments:

rbooth43 said...

I e-filed my taxes through H&R BLOCK online this weekend- the Federal is free and the state is around
$30. Can't beat that.

Shel said...

Done. They've been done since the day we got our last form in from school. Both I and my husband are pursuing degrees (Bachelor's for me, Master's for him), so education credits are nice. And we also need to file fast so we can get our FAFSA's filled out.

Dru said...

My taxes are done.

Sheila Connolly said...

I'm sneaking up on them. I always put it off because it's depressing to see how little money I make as a writer (don't even think about calculating it on an hourly basis!), and how much I spend promoting my books. But I can't think of anything I'd rather do.

Aryn said...

Mine are done on TurboTax, but will wait until April 15 to efile so that I don't have to pay until then. Yes, I owe $$. Boo.

But I do love that about TurboTax. The return is complete and ready to go and I can file when I want, so no stress.

Lover of Books said...

My hubby used turbo tax and the only thing we owned was to efile one of them online. Having a second kid really helped. :) We since have spent some of it. but we always put it in my hubby's business checking account so it lasts us awhile.

Krista

Linda said...

They are done, and in fact, we just got our refund from the Feds yesterday. :) But, we will need to use a portion of that refund to pay what we owe to the State. Good luck getting it done Maggie!

signlady217 said...

Done before mid-February. Hubby has used Turbo Tax for several years now and loves it. Money back and in the checking/savings account. (We have to replace our ac unit this year. Ick.)

Heather Webber said...

Done, sent, and already got our check. Love that little envelope.

But I'm with Sheila--it really is depressing to see how little money I actually make. And, on the flip side, how much I spend on promotion. Yikes.

Andrea C. said...

I did my state and federal taxes on a snow day if Feb. but for some reason I have not done my local. I keep putting it off and now I am so not in the mode, eventhough it should be easy. Maybe this weekend.....

Bettyann said...

Here in Canada, we have till April 30 to file our taxes..we file on-line...I better get crackin'..

Vicki said...

Done...Hubby does Turbo tax as well, and we got our state check back, just waiting to get the Fed check. We usually use it to pay bills, but we carved out a small portion of our return for a short Easter weekend getaway...I can't wait!

Maggie Sefton said...

rooth43, Shel, & Dru----Good for you, guys! E-filing is good if you have a simple return. Folks like me with complicated returns, we're a different story.

Maggie Sefton said...

Sheila-----Hang in there, Sheila. It grows.

Aryn & Love of Books---Turbo Tax works really well for a lot of folks. Easy software to use.

Maggie Sefton said...

Linda & Sign Lady---Good for you two for filing early enough you're gettting your refund back in time to pay state taxes and get that air conditioner before summer. Ahhhhh, it's taxpayers like you that make my former CPA's heart joyful.

Maggie Sefton said...

Heather---Good for you. Don't spend that envelope all in one place. As for expenses, it's good to see where our money is going.

Andrea---Local tax forms. . .ugh! What state are you in?

Maggie Sefton said...

Betty Ann---Well, good for you. You've got extra time.

Hey Vicki---That's fantastic about using some of your refend for a spring getaway. That made me feel good.

Sarah said...

I know how you feel - I just did them last weekend and was getting very antsy. I don't usually leave it this long either. And it's such a feeling of relief when they are done!

Sarah

Maggie Sefton said...

Yeah, I've definitely going to burrow in this weekend and make some progress. Then maybe with some evenings in between, I can get on the finish line for the following weekend. Times running out.

Lindy said...

I send our taxes off to a CPA in Virginia who works his magic on them, so it is important that I get the info to him as soon as possible. This year, though, I was working really hard--after all, procrastination is hard work--and I didn't get them ready as early as I normally do. By the time I actually got them sent off, I had won a gold medal for procrastination. I may be a procrastinator, but at least I'm good at it!

Maggie Sefton said...

Lindy----I used to be a CPA, so that's why I keep doing my own taxes. Plus, I'd still have to do all the hard work of sorting, categorizing, totalling, organizing even if I took it to someone else. That's the expensive stuff---the prep work.

briansatcher said...

ok, if you want to e file your tax extension online for 2009 tax year. We offer services of tax extension with coupon code. We offer business tax extension and personal tax extension online.