Friday, January 22, 2010

Tax Prep Time... Whee

While the weather stinks and keeps me from doing a project I have lined up, it's time to start the tax preparation.  For us, this involves an entire day or two spent going through the filing cabinet and extracting everything for 2009, getting it all lined up and organized to go when we see our accountant.

As to why we have an accountant, I suppose I could do it on my own.  I suppose I'd have a hope (just barely) of getting it right, too.  But in truth I want someone else to do it.  The ability to give her the data and have the results without the effort and worry about getting things in the proper place is worth the cost.

Those who know me well know I don't mind paying my fair share of the tax burden in the US, as I think we get value for our money.  I do, however, object to the outrageously complex way those taxes are collected and documented.  I have no problem with a progressive tax system - I even think it's fair - but surely there's a way for it to be simpler, so that someone like me (a college educated software engineer) could be confident that he's filled out the forms properly?

Apparently not.

So I have an accountant.  My life isn't really that complicated, but I guess the government wants it to be, or thinks it is, or something.

Anyway, I need to start working on the filing.  See you again in a day or two.


  1. As a former financial planner, I did my own taxes one year to save on the tax prep fees. There is such good inexpensive software out there, and I understand taxes as part of my old training.

    I got slapped with an audit notice, and paid as much to my tax planner to help us defend, as it would have cost to just have him do it in the first place. Never again, until my life gets MUCH simpler (no money, no deductions)

  2. The first year we saw her, our accountant found a huge error in the way the points were reported to the government on our new mortgage. It just leapt out at her as she looked at the statement, but I would never have noted it. That convinced me it was a good idea.

    Then, some years later, she said "Your taxes could only get more complicated if you had foreign income." A few months later the company my wife worked for was bought by a Canadian firm, so we did. Ugh.

    Things are a lot simpler now, but I really appreciate the peace of mind that goes with having a pro do it. Your story nicely emphasizes why.

    And that's not to mention the time savings. I'd be at it for days...


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