Tag Archives: taxes

Taxes finalized – and already plotting to amend them

We filed our taxes this weekend with the feds and with the state.  Last year, we spent more than 2% of our AGI on tax advice for our 2011 taxes (involved selling a rental property), and got to take the nice “other deductions”.  We were $600 short this year – until I started researching into what counted and what didn’t.  I can claim all of my membership fees for professional organizations and certifications – that’s *easily* above $600 for the year (and it all comes due in November/December!).  So, even though I’ve filed our taxes already, I might amend them and include my membership fees.  What will decide me is if I have to pay another filing fee to TurboTax and for how much.  If the fees are higher than I’d get back in taxes, not going to bother, but if it’s less, totally going to bother – I have all the records easily accessible.  I might also *gasp* mail in the forms….

Next year, we hopefully won’t be paying for a CPA to defend us during an audit, so it will go back to not mattering any more.

Update: We’d get back ~$50 from amending our 2012 taxes, and $9 from amending our 2013 taxes.  I’d have to mail all four tax forms (two federal and two state), and the certified mailing fees would really eat into that.  I’m not mailing them not certified, so I’ll just chalk this up as a learning experience and if the opportunity comes up in the future, I know I can take that deduction.

Have you gone back and amended returns?

Been quiet lately

I’ve been pretty quiet lately, but that’s just because I’ve been really busy and the whole family has been really sick.

In the sick department:
I got pink eye at the end of last week, which either was from or turned into a sinus infection putting me in bed for a day. Then Daughter Person woke up with a fever on Sunday, prompting us to cancel her birthday party. Grandma was already in town, so we had cake anyway, and then Grandma stayed to help babysit on Monday. Monday, her fever got worse and we took her to the doc suspecting a sore throat and maybe strep. It was *just* a virus (not strep, and not flu), but the doc said something’s been going around that takes about a week to get over. Dad and I have been taking turns taking care of Daughter Person, so that we can each get some work in each day. She finally went back to daycare on Thursday, with no fever. But now Dad and I are sick. I really started coughing and lost my voice yesterday – I at least feel halfway decent, even if I can’t talk. Dad started coughing and feeling bad last night. We’re just trying to avoid passing it back to Daughter Person.

In the non-sick department:
We got an IRS audit notice earlier in the month – and the examination appointment was yesterday: the recommendation is “no change” – which means we had all of the receipts and documentation to show our expenses (it was related to a rental property we sold in 2011). It has to get passed up the management chain and be signed off on before it’s final though – up to 30 days. We paid a CPA $3k to represent us – which was *way* less than our refund last year, but it still rankles us that we paid to have the taxes done (they were quite complicated), and then pay *again* to show the IRS that no, really, we’re right. On the plus side, only about 1 in 32 returns that are audited are in favor of the taxpayer, so we were lucky in that respect.
I’ve also been taking a cake decorating class, and getting ready for Daughter Person’s birthday party. And we were cooking all of this food at the same time too. The last two weeks have just been exhausting.

Despite my lack of voice, I feel pretty decent and am starting to get other things done (like taxes for 2012). On the plus side, my weight has dropped slowly – not as quickly as I’d like (I blame the cake class…), but it’s going.

Donating and Taxes

I’ve already donated a car this year, it sold at auction for $3,000 (which, BTW was less than the estimated repair cost for it to run again – which is why we donated it).  I’ve been working on de-cluttering the house.  I got rid of a bunch of books (4 IKEA full-size bookcases worth actually) earlier this year, and now I’m going through my guest room closet getting rid of all the clothes “I might fit into someday” – from about 10 years ago.  They’re not out of (my) style, they just don’t fit or I haven’t worn them in the last two years – so they’re going.

Last month, I went through and donated all of my maternity clothes, and all of Daughter Person’s clothes that didn’t sell at yard sale.  That was still about 5 trash bags worth of clothes.

This month, I’ve been attacking the guest room closet.  I put *all* of my clothes down there last summer – and brought clothes up to my closet as I wore them.  So, if one year later, they’re still in the guest room closet – I’m obviously not wearing them.  There are a few exceptions – dressy clothes, which I hate to wear, but I do occasionally need.  So as long as they still fit, I’m keeping them – really those are the ones that I wish I could get rid of the most, but most people frown on wearing jeans to a wedding or other “dressy” occasion :(.

I’ve run into a bit of a “problem” though, and I don’t know what I want to do about it.  There’s a $5,000 “threshold” on total like donations throughout the year – I say “threshold”, since you can donate more than $5,000, but you have to have extra documentation and appraisals.  I’m using Its Deductible to come up with the fair market value for things, and I’ve reached $1,981 on the estimated value.  That plus the car at $3,000 puts me really close to the $5,000 threshold (I think – I need to call my accountant).  And I haven’t finished going through the closet yet.

So, do I donate more than the $2,000 and deal with the IRS requirements, or just leave those things in boxes until next year?  I can still make donations in money since that’s a different kind of donation (and the car might be a different kind too, checking on that), but I really don’t want to deal with all of the IRS red tape of > $5,000 donations.  Although, I’d rather deal with the IRS than freecycle/craigslist/etc, so maybe it’s just time to suck it up and fill out more paperwork.