Friday, March 9, 2012

Tax to the Max

 
I received an email today from my beloved Madison Pierce, (so what if I didn't get permanent alimony and lost all rights to the country club membership -she looked so polished in the judges' chambers,) reminding me it is tax time and to contact her if I need assistance with my taxes.  Why would I need assistance, I mean how hard is it to go out to the mailbox and look for a refund check?  Silly.  I read it over one more time  and notice on second glance she is offering me help FILING my taxes.  Wait...what?  Isn't filing another word for PAYING?

Let me describe for you the experience I have had so far with taxes.  Typically my ex would come to me around April 14th with a form, and I would sign the bottom without even glancing at it. It could have been a BMW lease for Giselle for all I know.  Then he would be really cranky for a few days and we would repeat it all again the following year.  The end.

A call to Madison's assistant, (MP was in court, no doubt sentencing some other poor soul to bologna sandwiches and Publix spring waters,) confirms that yes I have to file and yes I have to pay, that alimony is indeed taxable income.  So, let me get this straight, after 27 years, my ex decides to spend his life with a woman who is not me, and in doing so gets a huge tax write off.  I on the other hand am expected to live on a quarter of what I used to and owe 20 percent of that to the government.  I need to cut back another 20 percent?  Dudes...seriously?  I already have the kids flushing only once a day.

Okay, not to panic.  I decline the offer of assistance (at 100.00 an hour...bitch) and decide to try Turbo Tax.  It comes with step by step instructions on how to file your taxes.  I start filling in the categories.  I have 3 children living at home so that should help.  Oops -nope they are all over 18, legal adults, basically squatters, no break there, unless I want to file as a homeless shelter.  Oh now here's something, donations.  This year I gave Goodwill a large amount of purple Ed Hardy slip on tennis shoes and 2 shawls from Anthopologie after my daughter M said,  "OMG. Mom.  Please. Who wears a shawl? Who even says shawl?"  I give myself $400.00 for that, great, maybe this won't be so bad.  Next, home office expenses...went through a lot of paper and ink cartridges this year with my daughter H printing off pictures of herself at various concerts and closeups of her dog's nose.  Allrightey,  let's just get the total owed here and we should be good.

Ten minutes later I am still in front of the computer, slack jawed, and eyes glazed over.  The final number has a lot of zeros.  A lot.  I think it is in the bizillion range.

In any case I have learned a valuable lesson.  I need to put money away each month so that I can pay my taxes like a grown up, divorced woman of 2012.   I certainly don't want to mess around with the Gestapo, aka the IRS.  I have heard horror stories of them coming to people's homes and demanding; "You VILL pay us or we VILL take things."  I heard of one poor guy who lost his Rolex to them. I dont have a Rolex, but I can offer them two very Aryan looking children and a Timex.




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