Friday, February 4, 2011
I do! Why, you ask? Probably because I make no money, don't own a house, and don't have a secret family of dependents in Canada that I have to provide for, so my taxes are fairly simple.
Still, I know I can just go to TurboTax online, type in my W2 and let the program do the calculating for me, but what's the fun in that?
That's right. I said "fun." I'm one of those weirdos who loves printing off every Schedule M, Form 8880, and Form 1099-INT to fill out by hand. I'm one of those who has the big book of instructions for my 1040 tax form and sits and does all the calculations with a pencil, eraser and an adding device.
Why? Because I like checking TurboTax's work. And because I think it's fun.
I do the banking a lot at my job, and the concept is the same: I love math. I love numbers. I love equations and puzzles and solving for x. I love having a strange, long list of random numbers and being able to turn it into a round result. I love double checking my work and getting the same numbers every time.
Yeah, I'm that person who loves balancing my checkbook. That's me. Because math doesn't lie. When I figure the numbers ten different ways, I better get the same result ten different times or I'll be at my desk for hours picking apart what I did wrong. Math is always predictable, and that's why it has a special place in my heart.
Therefore, tax time is never a time of woe. It's like doing the giant Sunday crossword after being stuck with the small crosswords all year. It's the biggest logic puzzle of all, and it's fascinating to me. Plus, once I solve the puzzle, I get a bunch of money for it! Granted, it's my own money, but who doesn't love finding a $20 in your coat pocket even though you know you left it there last winter?
So I'm off to sharpen my pencils, grab my calculator and solve for x = my rebate.
Here's a few good websites to get you started with yours.
IRS tax forms
Form 1040 with instructions (standard income)
Form 1099-INT (taxable interest from savings accounts - check with your bank)
Form 8880 (credit from money put toward Roth or traditional IRA)
TurboTax online filing
I hope you'll think to have a little fun with yours this year... or pay your tax man to have fun for you. ;)