Thursday, April 21, 2011

Best Tax Day EVER!

Nah, that's just sarcasm.  As if there could be a Best Day EVER Tax Day.  Maybe it could be neutral, passing unnoticed, as in you had already filed weeks earlier and settled the debt, or were expecting a refund.  In the latter case, refund day, that could be like the Best Ever April 26, or whatever day the check arrives.  But this year it was almost a catastrophe; April 18 might as well have been my Ides of March.

The problem was twofold.  First, I did not wait till the last day--at least, not on purpose, but it went that way anyhow.  I had prepared the simple no-frills return a week prior and sent it in electronically, but it was not accepted, through 4 more re-sends.  To be fair, the first time I did have a wrong Zip Code for the 1099R.  But it kept telling me the withholding amounts didn't agree on the 1040 and the 1099R, which is crap, there is only one place on each form for that number and it was THE SAME DAMN NUMBER, every time.  Extensive research on the internet revealed I had no recourse but to send it in the mail, which pushed me to the 18th.  Ok, Monday was set to be very busy, including some requirements for both the 11-year old and the bed-patient pending, I knew I needed to get the forms postmarked the 18th, but I could deal.

Then the second issue:  a 4AM wake-up on Monday the 18th with severe pain in my right side, and when I say severe, I'm talking record-setting por moi, as in "just take me now Lord."  Having no idea what it could be, but fearing the appendix, I queried the internet.  Big surprise, researching symptoms on the web can result in a diagnosis of everything from leprosy to belly button lint.  Suffice to say it did nothing to relieve my fear, so I woke up the kid, told him to watch is mom, and drove myself to the ER. It later occurred to me I probably should not have driven myself but calling an ambulance just seemed too much.  Five hours later I was released, a 3mm kidney stone working its way out of my system had made itself known.  With pain meds in hand, there was nothing to do but wait for it to pass. (footnote, as of Thursday the 21st, it has not). 

At least with with the pain meds I was able to get the forms to the Post Office, but I felt out of sorts for the next two days.  I'm still a little off, probably just jitters awaiting "The Passing."

Though not exactly related, I know some of my discontent is due to articles I've read about the debt ceiling and the fact that GE and Google, among others, did not pay any corporate taxes this year.  Also, with high rollers like Gates and Buffett both saying it's time to raise taxes on the very rich, I find it hard to tow the Republican line about extending tax cuts for them.

The truth is, I don't mind paying taxes, doing my part to help fund the government of the country I love.  I see it as one of the sacred duties of citizenship.  But I am troubled by the inability of our elected leaders to reduce spending, raise revenue, and get this country back into prosperity.  Enough already, this will be THE TOPIC I bet for next year's elections...

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