Yeah, I know. The book for understanding the tax code is almost as big. But I digress in that direction.
It's about a month or so before that anticipated day, whenst the prepared have already finished in advance of, and the procrastinators are still awaiting the 11th hour to start getting things ready to do their taxes and get them submitted on the 59th second of the 59th minute of that 11th hour.
I usually never have to pay extra, so I normally associate with the former category. This year -- thanks to an unplanned-on employment status change at the beginning of 2011, and the downgrade of standard of living that the new employment imposed -- I wound up closer to the latter category.
But instead of awaiting the "11th hour", I sat down and did* the crap this weekend.
Like with much of current day technology, I am still contentedly mired in the 20th Century: I do my taxes myself for the most part. On paper. With a pen. And a scratch pad (no calculator). And after copying the completed forms, I mail them. Snail mail. This year, with payments reluctantly enclosed.
I'm not thrilled about having to pay for a lot of what I consider frivolous nonsense that our current government insists I pay for, such as for contraception for promiscuous college students, but that's life. If a new administration takes over next January, I may be forced to pay for a greeting committee that's preparing to greet intergalactic visitors, or a psychological study of how asparagus views photosynthesis and if it wants its contraception paid for, too.
Anyway, due to a couple things that led off 2011 and put paid to my prior level of economic status -- resulting in a reduction therefrom -- I was unable to use my normal 1040EZ form this year**. So I had to get me the longer form, 1040.
Perhaps I could have made use of the shorter longer form, 1040A. I didn't know. I didn't care. As I started out to read the "What's New" section of the instruction booklet, and the irs-ese of their numeric code system of communication, it made me wish I'd been a codebreaker in my previous life during World War II, instead of the latrine digger I probably was, when a near-sighted kamikaze pilot saw my ditch and mistook it for the deck of an aircraft carrier. I'll bet I hated days like that. Eh.
I mean, what the numeric f**k: what is WITH all these numbered forms that are rattled off in the 1040 'howz to' booklet? Just on Page 6 -- the aforementioned "What's New" section -- were mentioned Forms 8949, 1099-B, 5405, 8853, 8889, 8938 and 8910, along with Schedules D, L, M and SE. For example: Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Archer MSAs. The additional tax on distributions from HSAs and Archer MSAs not used for qualified medical expenses has been redirected to covering Georgetown University student free contraception via the Pelosi Rule of Botox & Entitled Progression Ad Horkenum as appended '12, with a fecal load of howsomevers and other legalized cruciverbalisms not fathomed by even attorneys. More information may be obfuscated via Form 8889 or 8853. If preparing your own taxes, undoubtedly you'll use the wrong one, or you can call our help line and we'll guarantee it.
Further, I found three charts -- alphabetized as A, B and C -- that explained if I had to file a return or not. And two pages explaining all the W2s, 1097s, 1098s, and the fifteen versions of 1099s that must be included in the filings, which included additional references to Forms 4835, 2441, 6781, 4681, 6251, 8903, along with Publications 525, 225, 544, and references to Schedules C, A, D, F, E.
It was about here that I developed an involuntary eye cramp. I think I have to use Form 9999 to report that on Schedule FU, if deducted as a medical expense under taxological stress disorder, which requires the use of Form 9997A, Schedule WTF, appended 2013, which isn't available yet.
And won't be, if the Mayans are right.
If that wasn't enough -- and in irs-think, it surely wasn't, whether or not any of them are called Shirley -- on Page 95 of the booklet, I found something else the IRS felt necessary to research and include in their 'how to' 1040 filing instructions: a chart for...*drum roll*...Estimated Average Taxpayer Burden for Individuals by Activity, followed by an *eye roll*, once the eye cramps let up.
They really felt in necessary to include this? Yes, they did. Obviously someone in the IRS bureaucracy got paid big bucks to find something to do, and this is what they came up with, further inflaming my eye cramps. But enough on that...let's hit the salient parts: the average 1040 form taxpayer constitutes 68% of the total of taxpayers filing; those taxpayers spend an average of 22 hours, burdened with filing his/her/its taxes, as apportioned thus:
-10 hours in records keeping
-3 hours in tax planning (aka, how to claim the bowling team and fantasy football pool crowd as additional dependents, since you lose money to them regularly)
-4 hours for form completion
-1 hour for form submission (aka, hand cramps as you stand at the mail box or over the Turbo Tax 'send' button, "do I, don't I")...
-and 3 hours on what they consider to be "all other", which may or may not include poking ones self in the eye with a sharp stick, to see if it really was better or worse than doing the taxes.
They even threw in an average cost of this 22 hours of burden, IRS calculated to be $290. Which the filer canNOT deduct, dammit.
It was noted that their total time estimate of 22 hours, didn't add up to their breakdown of those hours. It's the government...go figure (pun intended).
It was also noted that they did not include how much this time and cost is skewed by an audit, in which case the sharp stick in the eye starts looking better and better.
At any rate, with all these numerics, Forms, Schedules and other related taxological obfuscatorialities to sort through, I proceeded to fill out my Form 1040 in the most convoluted manner available to me: I gave it to my pet rock, Seymour***. And the rock appeared to beat all of the time and cost estimates, as associated with the compiling and filing of my 1040.
If it's wrong, IRS, audit the rock, not me.
* see the end of this post of my definition of "did"...
*** yes, IRS, I did sign it. No, IRS, I did not list Seymour as a dependent geologic of credibility suspension...("did T...uh..why NOT??")
Labels: 1040s, IRS, Seymour the tax accounting pet rock, taxes