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Taxes, round 1 - Phil's Rambling Rants
April 9th, 2006
06:25 am

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Taxes, round 1
If I’m not the all-time champion procrastinator, I’m certainly in contention, which manifests itself in this instance in the fact that it was today that I started working on my taxes.

The good news:  None of the pieces of paper which I need for this, which I did believe I had, have mysteriously disappeared.  I was able to fill out my spreadsheet with the numbers, which I then copy to the regular form.

I still qualify, barely, to itemize my deductions despite not having state income tax; I get to use the table for sales tax for a small deduction.

Looking through the instructions for parts of the form I don’t normally worry about, I learned that unemployment compensation doesn’t count as income for the purposes of the EIC.  So even though I had little enough money come in that I would qualify for a credit, I don’t get one.  Grumble.

Because I elected to have 10% withheld from my unemployment checks (assuming I would have a regular job for part of the year, so that I’d be in have-to-file-estimated-tax territory if I didn’t), I get a fair sized refund.

The bad news:  I thought that unemployment compensation was not subject to state tax.  It shouldn’t be -- the same government that pays an inadequate benefit with one hand shouldn’t tax it with the other -- but I can’t find any way in the instructions to remove it from the “you owe tax on this” amount.  Which means that even after my property tax deduction, I still actually owe Uncle Rod a hundred bucks when I was not expecting to owe anything.  And there was wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Next steps: copy the numbers from the spreadsheet to the forms, find someplace I can Xerox the forms, and mail them before the end of the week.  Shouldn’t be too tough (but refer back to the beginning of this entry).

Note: I wrote this last night, but since craptastic eGIX didn’t seem to think it was worth bothering having a working connection to the Internet last night, I couldn’t post it until now.

Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
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From:redaxe
Date:April 9th, 2006 11:58 am (UTC)
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(seen via friendsfriends)

Next steps: copy the numbers from the spreadsheet to the forms, find someplace I can Xerox the forms

Would it be easier to download PDF fill-in forms and print (once for mailing, a second, perhaps, for hardcopy recordkeeping)? That's what I've done the past three years, and cut-and-paste from Excel, while tedious, provides that sense of security that no handwriting errors (or miscopies) are introduced.

Of course, if the IRS (and the states) provided downloadable spreadsheets, it would make all of our lives simpler.

Unless we work for Quicken (I don't) :-)

Looking through the instructions for parts of the form I don’t normally worry about, I learned that unemployment compensation doesn’t count as income for the purposes of the EIC. So even though I had little enough money come in that I would qualify for a credit, I don’t get one. Grumble

Am I misreading this, or should that "doesn't" read "does"? Otherwise it doesn't make sense -- the EIC can be taken on essentially no income, if I recall correctly. (I should reread the instructions when I get home to be utterly certain I've handled it correctly for the SO.)
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From:tigertoy
Date:April 10th, 2006 02:38 am (UTC)
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Unemployment compensation does not count as income for the EIC. Neither does interest on savings. I have zero income for EIC purposes, so I get no credit. Without any kids, the EIC maxes out at $400 if you have about $5000 of qualifying income. Make too little, you get no EIC, make too much, you get no EIC.
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From:redaxe
Date:April 10th, 2006 03:59 am (UTC)
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Duh, me. I forgot that the income range is far wider with kids. And that you need to have SOME qualifying income.

See what happens when I LJ deep into a 12-hour work shift?

Thanks for the clarification.
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