Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Yearly PITA

I've spent the last 2 days in the grips of the Yearly Paperwork Monster........

The W-2s came in late last week so I sat down on Friday and I did the PA state taxes.
Compared to the Federal taxes, PA's are easy-peasy.
Here's basically how it goes....

1. Write down all your income.
2. Write down the total of all your taxable interest and dividends from investments.
3. Add those 2 numbers.
4.  Multiply the number in #3 by 3.07%.
5.  If your employer didn't take out 3.07% and give it to us already, do some subtraction and write down what you still owe us for doing NOTHING for you.
6.  Write us a check for the number in #5 and mail it.
7.  Consider yourself lucky we don't take more.

See?!  Easy peasy.....

PA has no exemptions and deductions(except for a very few rare ones that we don't qualify for).
There are no tax brackets and graduated scales either.
Tell us what you made, send us 3.07%.

And you don't even have to snail mail or electronically file in most cases.
You simply call them on the phone and file that way.....of course, you DO have to mail them a check or give them your credit card number eventually.

So PA is ready to be filed and we owe them another $51 besides what they took out already during the year.

Saturday I sat down and  did all the calculations to figure the charitable contributions, local/state/real estate taxes paid for 2013.  If it's more than the Standard Deduction of $12,200 for our married/filing jointly status, we itemize, but if it's less than $12,200, you are better off just taking the SD and saving yourself some aggravation and wear and tear on your sanity.
Unfortunately(or should that be fortunately?), I get to challenge my sanity this year.

So this week I get to write up all the final paperwork for the Schedule A & B.   Fun! lol

I also sat down on Friday and figured out my final Net income from my gross Blog Revenue, eBay, Etsy and Amazon sales in 2013.
You are now reading a blog written by a "hundredaire" know, like a millionaire but a lot poorer.  ;-)

I started filling in the 1040 and am now on page 2(home stretch!) and awaiting the 1098-T forms from 3 colleges(Daughter attended 2 different ones in 2013)so I can see if we get the 2 educational credits and/or offsets from Form 8863 the year and how much they will be.

I went ahead and figured the rest of the numbers without the Tuition/Educational credits/offsets and we will be getting a refund hovering in the $1K neighborhood at least.  Could rise to almost $2K depending on how the 1098-Ts affect the calculations.

So until those 1098-Ts come in I'll keep myself busy by doing the.....yes, I am going to say it!......the FAFSA.

I don't have to do one for #1 Son this year since he graduated in 2013(hoorah!)but instead, I get to do one for #2 Son(boo hiss!)who will be starting college in 2014.

It's all just a big game of chicken for us really, since we are so RICH(have retirement $), the FAFSA always tells us we are required to pay the entire college bill the child might have....and usually it tells us we are required to pay even MORE than their anticipated bill!  How is that possible?LOLOL

So we fill it out and wait for them to tell us our kids qualify for nothing.....except loans, EVERYONE qualifies for those evidently.  8-(
So I dutifully fill it out even though it's pointless.

The Daughter has dropped out of college(temporarily)this semester and has no clue whether she will return for the 2014-2015 year so I guess I need to fill one out for her this year, just in case she does drop back in, in the Fall.
But where they want to know what school to send the information to, what the hell do I put? lolz

Possibly 3 more years of this FAFSA crap and then I am done forever. really doesn't matter.

Maybe today I'll do something FUN like......figuring out a menu for this coming week and scrubbing a few toilets........or having a couple of drinks.

Guess which one will win out?  ;-)



  1. About the unanswered FAFSA questions or glitches in a person's form--If there is a problem or question, going to the school or an agency that fills out the FAFSA is worth the trip. The service is free at agencies.

    I try to tell people about the "administrative override key" that is available for the person who has a complicated form. Let's say that last year a family made $200K but the father lost his job and the wife now makes 20K and husband makes $25K and they have multiple children. According to last year's income, no one gets any help with college. (just pretend) The visit to college or agency has someone with access to an "administrative override key." That person can adjust the data that goes into the computer. I know that people with two or more household members, kids or parents or both, can benefit from the administrative override key.

    In my area, that agency is NACEE--North Alabama Center for Educational Excellence. Now that would give a person no clue that the FAFSA help I describe would be available. I worked there, so I know what they do. Of course, financial aid at the school can help, but not over the phone as far as I know.

  2. I actually look forward to doing our taxes each year. We have 1 child in day care all year and a second in daycare in the summer. Plus my husband and I never adjusted our withholdings since we've had children. Last year we got a lot back so I'm excited to see how this year goes. I'm not sure how much owning an investment property will affect our taxes this year.

    I don't enjoy actually doing the taxes but knowing I will be getting money back motivates me to get them done.

    1. As far as I know(and I am not a tax expert!)rental income is taxes the same as ordinary wage income. The only benefit/difference is you don't pay FICA taxes on rental income. The full amount of rental income is taxed after deductible expenses are taken out. Be sure and file a Schedule E and don't forget about calculating the Appreciation/Depreciation on your rental property.

  3. I haven't started, since I haven't gotten my w2 yet, but our tax return is easy as I am the only one with income and we don't have enough deductions to itemize.....though I will be checking our medical expenses for last year to see if we spent enough. We may have. AND in a fit of I don't know what, I volunteered to help Chance file his as he usually has someone else do his return and PAYS THEM MONEY. I told him to save his money this year. AND I told him I would do the FAFSA for him, since I found out that he can qualify for financial aid in addition to his GI Bill. I must have been drunk. But when I did it for Sam, she always got some money, so I guess we were poor enough. We don't have to be poor for Chance's as he has been independent for years.

    1. You shouldn't have much problem with Chance's since you are an old hand at's like riding a bike, right? lol

      I didn't know he would need student aid since he has the GI Bill already?

    2. I don't think he needs any financial aid as as far as he has been told, his tuition fees and at least most of his books are paid for. But he is not sure on the book money as the Veteran's Office didn't tell him about it....I found out about it for him. He SHOULD get up to $1000 a year, but we don't know if he will any this semester or if it is paid in the Fall, and if he goes to school in the summer he doesn't know either. I think the Army taught him too much patience...he is just waiting to see. But the college websites said he can still qualify for financial aid, so I am encouraging him to complete the FAFSA. An offer of work study would be great to help him with expenses. He will be receiving a living stipend, but he does have to pay child support, so will still have to work. It would be really convenient if it could be on campus. I don't expect him to be rolling in dough, but I hope that he will receive all that he is entitled to.

  4. I read in NatGeo that the Danish pay 60% in income taxes. And they are the happiest people on earth. I do wonder what they put in their water.

    Mine are relatively easy. Federal 1040, A & C, then it all transfers over to my state form. I think I did a good job of organizing the receipts, etc. for this year, so it should be a couple hours at most.

    Peace <3

    1. Either the Danish have just given up worrying about taxes at this point and just ignore that 60% and move on with life or they are all smoking something. lolz
      Good organization during the full year really makes it less of a chore.

  5. I have two FAFSA's to do..I started them but then figured that a drink and a book would be a better idea. I am still waiting for the 1098T's since one college puts them on line and one doesn't..and I still need one W2. Next year I will be more organized about this I swear...

    1. Well we ARE at the mercy of the institutions and corporations with getting forms so you can only do but so much, then it's hurry up and wait. A drink is a good thing to have while you are waiting.....

  6. Our taxes will be complicated this year as we lived in PA the first half of the year and AL in the second half. We sold our house, I've had 3 jobs plus I do ebay, hubby has had 3 jobs, and our daughter is in college. Luckily the lady who did our taxes in PA said she can still do our federal for us. Sluggy, do we still have to file a PA state form even though we're in AL now?

    1. Oh goody! 2 state forms, 1 federal, capital gains, multiple W-2s and tuition credit. LOLZ

      I believe you will have to file part-year resident forms in both PA and AL on the state level if you earned income in both.
      You can find out what the thresholds for income when you have to file a state form in each state....PA is $33 whole dollars so I know you'll have to do a PA one, but not sure on AL's threshold. If your tax lady isn't up on AL statutes you might want to do your own AL form and find someone there to handle it, depending on how complicated it is.
      Usually state's of part-year residents are not concerned with how long you lived there during any given year, but want to know what percentage of your total yearly income was earned in their state, so you have to figure that out to file. I hope you have a good calculator. ;-)

  7. Mine are not easy at all. And if I follow their W-4 calculation or state and federal, I still end up owing. This year, it also seems I owe some (but less than $200 thankfully-- no more of that $2k or 1.2k owing garbage like the past 2 years), but if they cant make a form to figure it out, it sucks. I just want to do my taxes and be done with it. But my PT job is still procrastinating... ugh. I opted for no refunds, but I know my parents would rather have a refund than not "overpay" their tax allowance.

    1. Sounds like you had employers not withholding enough tax(too many deductions)when you filled out a W-4 or two.
      I thought resident alien filing was pretty straight forward, well, as straight forward as a US citizen filing, which isn't very? lol

      Believe me if you were married or divorced or had non-custodial kids, or sold/bought a house, or had a small business, or moved mid-year, or had retirement income, an inheritance, etc. your taxes could be a nightmare!

  8. I pay to have someone do my taxes, especially after moving, marriage, divorce, and running a small p/t photography business over the past few years. I pay enough into taxes so I don't owe at year-end.

    BTW, random Q... if you look at my most recent post ( I mentioned selling a few items on eBay. Never used eBay, sooo... any tips?! Thanks!

  9. Dude have the drinks!!!! I hate this time of year. OH and you want to hear a good one, IL makes you claim your tax refund from them. Ok reread that. Yes, once you get a refund or should I say if you get one, they tax you on it the following year! Bastards.

  10. I told my daughter for the 5th year in a row that this is absolutely the last year I'm doing her taxes for her. So she went to Australia - boy is she ever gonna get it when she gets home! She's so grounded!

  11. I guess I will be pummeled for saying I have the easiest tax return ever. No state taxes in Texas. I have 1 W2, 1 interest statement and 1 royalties statement. That is all. I will be done in about an hour tomorrow. Everyone else has my sympathies.

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