Patti (whipartist) wrote,

Death and...

Is it weird that I sort of like doing my taxes? I've never understood why people think that tax returns are always these big horrible scary things that they need to run away from or pay somebody to do for them. Most people have relatively simple tax returns, and with today's tax preparation software it's nothing more than walking through a checklist and typing in a few numbers.

When I lived in St. Louis, I had a friend who paid a preparer to do his 1040EZ. That's like five minutes flat if you have to do it with a pencil, and 37 seconds in TurboTax. This guy was no intellectual slouch, either-- he had an engineering degree and wrote software for a living, and this was in the mid-80s when not just any joe did that. The mind boggles.

I just roughed out my 2006 returns in about 20 minutes flat. I'm missing a few pieces of data, one of which is critical (my mortgage interest statement), but I plugged in estimates and made notes of what I need to chase down. The hardest part of doing taxes is data-gathering.

Back when I was younger, I was completely neurotic about my taxes being precisely correct. These days, when I'm dealing with small I'm perfectly happy to slap some approximations in and be done with it. I have a couple of random bank accounts around that pay me some small amount of interest every year-- each in the $10-30 range-- and I always lose the interest statments for them. I just make up a number that's slightly higher than what I believe the total to be and slap that in, then forget about it. Sure, I'm paying a few bucks more in taxes than I need to, but I'm just helping to pay down the debt, right?
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