Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Jenny's Procrastination of Taxation Schedule

I'm a poet. Is it worth taxing me? Well the government sure thinks so. Must be all those political poems I'm writing and distributing. Every year I put off the inevitable - adding up all the pathetic figures from my freelance poeming that lead to calling myself "self-employed." It's an awful lot of work to keep track of every single cent when every single cent doesn't add up to all that much, and then to be taxed on it further...well, it makes me scrunch up my face like a dehydrated apple. I know that all my taxes more than likely won't go into filling potholes or creating playgrounds. This makes me even more scrunchy.

So the yearly schedule of procrastination works this way:

  • Receive bank statements and miscellaneous income 1099's - don't open them, file in basket above desk. A nice metaphor all year long - taxes looming overhead.
  • File bunchy receipts in basket in a folder marked "receipts" until the folder practically bursts like a dandelion gone to seed.
  • Wait until April.

Today the unveiling of this past year's income and expenses began with opening everything.

  • I checked a friend's blog, nominated some witty writing for consideration on Boing Boing, and chatted with my sister in Japan while the cat sniffed the envelopes on the floor.
  • Coffee brewing followed.
  • Stapled bank statements and ordered them into consecutive months while singing along to "Aeroplane" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
  • I decided to brush my hair and put on makeup afterall - it might make me feel better about all of this.
  • Decision to blog about tax process - began blog.

  • Began highlighting of expenses. Is Meow Mix tax-deductible? No. Neither are other groceries. We should both start hunting.
  • Completed mileage report. Over 4000 miles traveled for poetry.
  • Lunch. Chicken salad made with half a mealy apple and onion. None of this is tax-deductible.
  • Can it be right that I made no income in February last year?
  • Correct.

  • Almond nibble. Number crunch.
  • Cash receipts completed in an Excel file. Missing one 1099 form.
  • Called "payer" who owes me the 1099. Also called the "payer" who owes me a paycheck for this past month's work. Was told by latter "payer" that if there's no "situation" I'll get paid in a few days. I paid $260 in gas and tolls to get to that job for the past month. There better be no "situation." I have to pay my taxes!
  • Took a break and reviewed my social security benefit statement. Did you know that if you die your family is eligible for a SPECIAL one-time only death benefit (which in my case wouldn't cover the heating bill)? What moron worded that? Last time I checked, when someone dies they only do it once. I've sat in a social security office waiting for answers after someone dies. It's not "special" nor is it a "benefit."
  • Began the arduous task of spreadsheeting all the 2007 disbursements all done by cross-referencing checkbook entries with bank statements and receipts. Twelve months worth. Woo.
  • Took daughter to softball game. A welcome break, but the weather is so nice I wanted to be outside too. I could use the walk.
  • Made dinner, was cranky, gave up on taxes for the day. Vowed to finish in the morning.
Today is another day of deductibles, but I hope to spend only a focused few hours on it before it's done and I can go outside and play. Ultimately, who cares? I made under 25K, I will likely owe about 2K, and the world will not stop turning as a result of any of the paperwork or whining.

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