Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lack of organization

Well, I did it again...managed to delay filing my tax returns until close to the last minute.

I file electronically so I try to make sure I leave a couple of days before the final deadline in case the government decides to reject the returns. I cut it pretty close this time around.

Because of the extra contract work I did this year, I had a pretty hefty salary. It's only when I do my taxes that I become aware of what I earn. It was a little tough to see these numbers this time around as I am expecting to have a significant decrease in salary this year. Even if I do get a regular job this year, I have no doubt that I'll be earning quite a bit less than I did last year. Sigh. It seems so unfair to finally get to a really nice salary level and then have to give it up. And what's really hard is knowing that if I didn't lose my job this year, I'd still be enjoying that very nice salary.

All gone. Likely gone for a long time, if not for good.

But, back to the original theme...every year, I swear I'm going to be more organized. But I'm not. This year was no exception. I suspect I missed a few of those charitable donation deductions simply because I didn't find all those bits of paper stashed away (yes, I know, start a new folder/envelope at the beginning of the year...).

I use paperless billing for as many of my accounts as possible. Convenient, but I suddenly realized I didn't know where my mortgage end-of-year statement was since I didn't have a hard copy of it. Did I save it somewhere on my computer? I couldn't find it. I'll probably find it a few months from now. So I had to try to get it from the mortgage company. Which involved several phone calls (I accidentally exited out of live chat, had to go through the automated voice system several times to get to the right option, blah, blah, blah). Since I had set up my online payments and paperless billing through my bank, I didn't have an online account set up with the mortgage company. So, once I figured out that I needed a new account and went through the enrollment process, I discovered that the mortgage company sends the passcode in snail mail, which takes several days! Which I didn't have as I had to get the tax forms done today. So, another phone call to get the passcode reset and voila! I finally had my information. Another revelation is that my interest deduction is smaller than my property tax payments. I'm running out of big deductions! Maybe I need to buy a new home (or get a job first that will allow me to get a mortgage!).

The next snag was finding the information to prove I have medical insurance (Massachusetts requires all residents to be insured). Oy...where WAS *that* piece of paper? I had a vague recollection of seeing it, but where did I put it (no, it was not in the Medical folder...that would be way too logical)? Luckily, a quick search of the "papers to be filed" resulted in the magic piece of paper which is now tucked into the 2008 Tax Envelope.

Overally, the process took a bit longer this year as I seemed to be even less organized than usual. But, the end result wasn't too bad. The extra income I earned resulted in a larger than normal payment but it turned out to be about $1,000 less that I had estimated. I can live with that.

Next year, I swear...I'm going to be more organized (ha! promises, promises...)

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