The freaking IRS. That’s what my dad usually says about that government agency. I think most CPAs have that kind of relationship with the IRS. Me? I’ve never had to deal with the IRS until recently.
My wife being self-employed has been quite the eye-opener for us. With self-employment taxes, tracking and remembering all business expenses, and the multitude of 1099s for all of her independent contract work creates quite the headache come April 15th each year.
In 2012 we received a surprise letter from the IRS. It was the kind of surprise that made my face flush red and sweat to pour down my cheeks. A company that Casey had done independent work for a few years ago had submitted an incorrect 1099. Because Casey has so many 1099s we didn’t catch the mistake and we forwarded the 1099 to our CPA (who happens to be my father).We received a return that year from the IRS, but this little surprise letter from the IRS that arrived several years after the fact, informed us of the mistake, and several penalties that were assessed to us because of the mistake. They also sent a new tax bill for that year.
Hurray for being a grown up. It’s that time of the year again, so hurray for being a grownup once more.
My dad is a CPA and he has done our taxes, well, every year I’ve ever needed taxes done. And luckily that’s how it will stay as long as he’s with us or until I frustrate him too much and he quits. But if that happens, I have a backup plan. My youngest sister is a CPA too.
This year we were very late getting our tax information to my dad–which is very typical of us. We actually had most of it compiled and ready to go halfway through January, but it sat on our counter of many things until about a week ago. My dad finally got me to scan and send him all of our information and he responded with a lovely email that made me gasp for air and seriously consider moving to a different country. (I hear Italy’s nice.)
My dad likes to scare me with the tax estimates that he initially claims we owe each year. I think it’s the pessimist in him. The figure he had estimated from a brief look at our information was scary with a capital S.
As I fought off my panic attack and tried to keep from ramming my head into my desk, I quickly pulled up my tax return from the year before and learned everything I could about putting a tax return together. I then grabbed all of our information and scanned through it and plugged rough numbers into a blank form. An hour later, I felt much better.
Well, yesterday I got another email from my dad with a more firm number on the amount of tax we owe and it again caused me to gasp. The number was not nearly as much as the earlier number he had given, but the gasping was still there.
Several hours later after reviewing our expenses etc., and another self-taught lesson on compiling a tax return, our tax owed number is down to something a little more manageable. It’s still not gone completely, but it’s doable and a lesson was definitely learned this year.
We will be making periodic payments towards our 2013 taxes in the hopes of not owing anything next year, and we now know that we won’t have to go to tax jail if my dad ever passes away (I still consider my dad to be invincible) because I’m starting to think putting these tax return things together is a little fun.
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