I’m not THE Taxman, I’m A taxman

There’s a hilarious episode of Corner Gas featuring the great Kevin MacDonald as Marvin Drey, a tax auditor who comes looking for Oscar. The exchanges between him and Brent are priceless:

Marvin Drey the Taxman: Is your father coming in today?
Brent LeRoy: Is he in some kind of trouble?
Marvin Drey the Taxman: Trouble? What makes you think he’s in trouble?
Brent LeRoy: What if I told you he was out of town?
Marvin Drey the Taxman: Is he out of town?
Brent LeRoy: What if he was?
Marvin Drey the Taxman: Do you know where he is or not?
Brent LeRoy: What’s your favourite colour?
Marvin Drey the Taxman: Excuse me?
Brent LeRoy: I was just seeing how long we could answer questions with questions. That was fun, wasn’t it?

Poor Kevin is stuck with the feeling that he’s some kind of boogeyman because everybody keeps calling him “The Taxman”, as if he’s taking their money for himself. I wish that episode had been on last night to bring a little humor after fighting with some last minute tax issues. Yes, I was totally serious with that tweet – I pressed submit at approximately 11:57 PM. Everybody looked at me funny that I hadn’t done mine already, but then I remind them that there was that whole game show thing and I actually owed money this year. Why the hell would I want to send them anymore than I had to any sooner than I had to?

Of course I could have actually finished them before submitting but… hello, have we met?

At least this year’s return provided some amusement. Remember how I had that pseudo-audit? The one in which they ended up owing me even more money? Yeah. I had to pay taxes. On the interest they paid me. On the refund they paid me. For the overpayment of taxes I made. And if I later find a mistake, and they actually owe me another refund for this year, next year I’ll be paying taxes on interest on a refund for taxes on interest on a refund for taxes. Part of me wanted to leave something off to be corrected next year so I could keep this going ad infinitum.

P.S. This entry is courtesy of William Shatner’s rendition of “Spleen/Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”. I think I have to play that once a day now…

The tax man cometh

After doing our taxes last year, I was so excited by the big return (no doubt going to pay a bill) that it never occurred to me that I was ignoring all of the investments The Woman sold. So when I found some paperwork months later that pointed this out… well… let’s just say that a panic attack was narrowly avoided. But a funny thing happened when that information was entered into the tax software – it said the freakin’ man still owed me more money.

How could this be? After pouring over the original and modified returns it eventually became clear that you should be wary of using an online service for doing your taxes. The website never properly transferred all of our wonderful home ownership type deductions over – and they more than adequately canceled out the rediscovered income. But as I struggled to find all of the paperwork and eventually formatted and reinstalled computers, actually filing the modifications kept getting put off.

Fast forward to this month. Shortly before we leave for vacation a nice letter from the IRS made it’s way to us: In case you didn’t notice, you forgot about a crapload of money so, PAY US FOUR GRAND OR WE TAKE YOUR FIRST BORN! Just kidding about that – it was under $4,000.

While I was pretty sure they weren’t taking everything into account, it was still disconcerting. And it became even more disconcerting when I noticed things on their paperwork that I had no knowledge of. Crap! Tax prison, here I come!

After weeks of sorting out missing papers, mixed up numbers, and software installation (it’s really awesome that TaxCut wouldn’t open my federal return because it also contained a state return which it wouldn’t let me install since it thought it already was…) I finally figured it all out. And tomorrow, not only do I get to tell the freakin’ man that I don’t owe them anything, but I also get to tell them that they owe me money!

I’m not sure how I managed to miss reporting several thousand dollars of income and still come out several hundred dollars ahead of the game. Perhaps I should start offering to do other people’s taxes?