Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Teach me about taxes before I hurt myself

edited: freakout is over. Everything is fine. I actually looked at some of the forms in greater detail and figured them out. However, I did realize that doing my taxes online resulted in omitting some very significant data, which I will remember not to overlook this year. I might still want to learn a bit about this stuff though.

OK, today I received a letter from the IRS saying that I owe them $4000!!!! from last year's taxes.

I suspect I know why this happened, it has something to do with mutual funds. I am consulting with the guy who does my parents' taxes (they are both self-employed and own a house and can't deal with the huge hassle that is taxes) and it should come out OK.

However, this is really upsetting me because I realize that however much I WANT taxes to be transparent, and however much I would like finance and investment to be transparent, they are just not. It's not the kind of thing where, even if you're a relatively intelligent person who's good at math, you can look at the forms and realize intuitively what's going on. You have to learn some shit.

How do I do this? A "for dummies" book?

4 comments:

Arbitrista said...

Yikes. I don't do the online stuff. I actually read the tax forms they send you. It takes a while, but I generally get it pretty close to right. Glad you sorted it out.

luckybuzz said...

Glad everything worked out! Every year I do my and GB's taxes online and hope for the best. A few years ago, I messed something up and GB got a letter that he owed $1400....since then, I keep my fingers crossed. A lot.

SK said...

Oh no! Now you're scaring me! Dad and I have been saying I should try to do mine this year. is it true that what's-his-name gives us a grade, or is dad just messing with me?

kermitthefrog said...

Whew. Yes, I called up the tax man and told him all was solved, and he gently laughed at me.

Usually the taxes go OK -- I've been dealing with pretty much the same set of data every year for a while now -- but I was pretty stressed this time last year and just managed to overlook a whole category of information.