April 16th, 2007

new year

Taxmanic

Taxes e-filed. Presumably this will beat tomorrow's rush, which will clog the eways. And they can send paper checks to our hot little hands this year, big ones, so there, even if the postal service does give them a deal on the postage.

Well, not really very big, but whenever they have to send any money back it's a triumph, and the feds have to give it all back to us this year, just like we were some big corporation. I don't mind contributing to the general welfare, but honestly, we are on a fixed retirement income now. Maybe I will send more of those big deductible checks this year to social justice and save the planet organizations.

Yesterday after I got back from OddCon, and had my walk, I worked on taxes for half an hour, and the end was in sight. Today after a good sleep, I got up early and before he left (it's another good day for burning) Mr S said I might as well file. I have spent a couple hours all told, printing and reviewing, finding and filling in some incomprehensible investment report I had forgotten, and wandering the program for explanation of mysterious numbers that turned up in the state return (my tuition credit from ceramics class). It is a source of wonder to me every day that I spend on this, and every year, that even with a degree in accounting I still find this stuff so impenetrable. I got A's in my accounting classes too, I'm no dummy. Another class of written documentation whose writers should be forced to do live readings of their prose. Tax accounting is far, far worse than any consumer electrical goods programming documentation.

I was thinking we might have to succumb to taking our stuff to an up-to-date tax accountant next year, because Mr S' Social Security is about to kick in which changes everything. But when it comes down to it, the most complicated stuff I do is my own Schedule C for art income and expense, which I would have to do anyway to get it done right and that is what holds up the whole show. My own conflicts about the value of my work make me delay with getting it started.

Then it makes me so mad, that you can't do the simplest things without a specialist to fill in the form for you. I was mad about this twenty years ago, when I was fresh on the details, and it has gotten steadily worse, with smaller print and more lines. The references to form numbers come so thick and fast, every line of the 1040 is a nexus in the hypertext of laughably bad prose, which is so bad it is obviously purposefully designed to make people feel stupid, not to say disenfranchised. It would be comic if it wasn't so deadly serious, both to the most of us who can't afford Mr Bush's war, and to the profiteers who are raking it in, instead of spending on medical research, or education, or prenatal care. That's why I have to do it fifteen minutes at a time. Even with the friendly tax program, it gets more convoluted every year, and the government, OUR government I'd like to point out again, is wholesaling paranoia and mystification perforce to the entire population.

Time for walkies.