A Taxing Kind of Day

Well, I have to admit, this year Hubby & I once again cut it close to the tax deadline. At least this year, we got done a whole day beforehand. Last year, we e-filed for the first time and were literally hitting the “send” button within half an hour before midnight. And while we kept getting “server error” on the other end, Hubby & I were literally freaking out that our taxes would be filed too late. But alas … things worked out. So this year … we aimed to complete our taxes a whole day before it was due. Oh yeaaah … we’re total overachievers! 😛

I do have to admit though, I hate doing our taxes. No. Really. I do. It’s not so much that it’s a pain in the rear to do (because it is). It’s more because it’s like a refresher of all the activities that had happened in the past year. We itemize every year, so we’re constantly referring back to everything we’ve done, purchased, sold etc over the year. “Ah … we flew to Portland for a wedding that month … that’s why there were so many purchases!” OR “Oohhh … that’s the month I received a bonus check from work!” It’s like re-living each purchase that you bought over the year. Or realizing how much was spent on gas and car repairs over the year. (Hubby commutes and hour and a half each way every day. Can you imagine that expense?!) And once again, Hubby & I realize that we spend A LOT of money at the local Border’s Bookstore. I’d say that we should try to break that habit … but it’s actually a habit that I quite enjoy.

Really, the major reason I hate doing taxes is because of the whole “no kids” thing. No person to claim as dependents. No children to get that little extra “tax break.” And because we’re “relatively” successful in our line of work but still are not that successful that we can buy another house or invest any “extra money” elsewhere, we always end up having to owe money rather than get a federal refund. Geesh … nothing like hitting us below the belt TWICE. Once for reminding us that we’re childless. And the other for making us PAY more taxes because we’re childless.

Yep. No tax breaks for us “DINKs.” (That’s yuppie-speak for “Dual Income, No Kids.”)

Remember Shrinky Dinks?

Oh sure there are tax breaks for adoption. But then this goes back to the whole being successful, but not that successful at our jobs. In other words we’re not CEO’s at our jobs. Nor are we any type of “upper management” type persons at our place of employment. And no … we don’t have any “spare cash” lying around to finance an adoption. Yeah … that aspect and the one where I’m still not emotionally strong enough to go through the adoption process is THE BIG reasons why we haven’t been rushing head-first into adoption.

And yes, I am very well aware about the tax break one gets for medical expenses if I should choose to back down the ART (Assistive Reproductive Technology; in vitro fertilization, for example) route. We did, in fact, utilize this tax break when filing for the year that we did our one IVF round. However, this goes back to the whole “reliving the last year of your life” thing.

Let me explain. Hubby & I did our IVF cycle in Feb/March of 2004. When that cycle failed, I was naturally devastated and extremely sad. As we worked on our taxes for 2003 later that March, we knew that we were going to owe federal taxes once again. So after spending all this money on a failed IVF endeavor AND still having to pay taxes … well it was a killer. I can clearly remember that day, because as we worked on our taxes … what should come in the mail? Yep, one of the last major bills we still had to pay for that IVF cycle. It was also the same day and at the same exact time that I finally broke down in hysterical sobs over the phone with my Mom. Because before then, the only person that bothered to know exactly how miserable I felt about the failed IVF cycle was Hubby.

So flash forward a year later in 2005, when once again we’re preparing our taxes. That year we knew we’re going to get a refund based on all the medical expenses for the IVF cycle we had in 2004. But each bill we found and each receipt for prescriptions we tallied, the more and more I started to feel sad. Not because of the amount we paid for everything … it’s more because each item brought back a specific memory of that one cycle. And ultimately when all was tallied … to know that we spent THAT much for a failed cycle, well … it just plainly SUCKED.

So there you go. The reason I hate taxes. Makes me want to throw some dough (no, not the money variety) on the wall and scream (a-la-Maggie Gyll.enhall in “Stranger Than Fiction”), “GET BENT, TAXMAN!”

*********************

Okay, so I just reread my post, and I feel compelled to add one more thing (and then I’m done ranting … I swear!!): Although the outcome of the IVF wasn’t what we wanted … I still have no regrets for at least trying this medical route. I know I needed to try this step in making our family before I went on to the next. Ironically, I’ve since then become stuck between this step and the next.

0 Replies to “A Taxing Kind of Day”

  1. Even though I’m a grad student (read: making less than 15K / year), my university always screws things up and neglects to withhold enough for the feds. I’ve tried to fix this problem but it just doesn’t seem to take. So I hear you about the pain of having to pay, especially when you’re basically living on rice and beans.

    The IRS, I’m sorry to say, does not accept beans as payment. Jerks. 🙂

    Reliving the past can be so painful, especially when you have to rephrase it in such dry, heartless terms as a tax form. Anyway, the ides of April are over and we can all forget about it for another year.

  2. We didn’t have any money sitting around to pay for adoption either. Hello home equity line of credit (the interest you pay is tax deductible). Then we transferred it to a very low interest credit card. We’ll keep bouncing it around until it is paid off. Also, there is an $11,000 tax credit you get to take next time you file your taxes after placement. In some situations you can’t take the whole thing at once, but can take it over 5 years if necessary. There are other ways to creatively raise money and cut costs to better afford an adoption.

    Trust me, it sucks going into debt like this to get a baby, especially since once we do get a baby, we’ll then have to afford stuff for the baby and childcare. But hey, you do what you’ve got to do!

    Oh and I hate taxes too!

  3. beg. the adoption process is not easy. at all. so, i get and respect your patience.
    we always wait too late for taxes and we have an accountant do it. one year we had to pay 8,000! it clean ed out our savings. from then on, i turned into a chicken!

  4. Ah, yes. The tax-time blues… I always insist on having extra taken out of each check so that I never have to pay anything, and this year, though we got a decent refund, because H got a raise, we went up into the next tax bracket. And recently, H’s employee relations people changed his W-4 so that he shows as married, and thus they take a smaller amount out of his check. When they made this change back in Jan, I told H that he needed to have them change it back because I was NOT going to owe anything at the end of the year. And I told him not to get used to the extra income in each paycheck because after we filed taxes this year, we would need to reassess whether or not we needed to change his withholdings.

    So, because I’m hyper-paranoid about having to pay anything, after our filing this year, I looked at the tax scenario, and his withholdings did not cover his entire tax bill, but my withholdings alone covered his gap and my entire burden, and allowed for a refund. So I got on to him about changing his withholdings back and he got mad because he wanted to keep his extra cash on each paycheck. So then we got into how it wasn’t fair for me to have less money on each check so that I could pay his taxes when he was insisting on having not enough taken out of each check so that he could have that extra money on his take home pay.

    Silly, but all of this is to say that tax time stresses couples out regardless of having to pay or not. And I hear you on having to relive things. When we were pulling out medical receipts, there were all kinds of things we didn’t want to think about that happened over the last year being brought up by the tons of co-pay receipts and the ambulance rides and the ER visits… and because of the danged surgery, this year will likely be no different. Oh, well.

    The one thing I would recommend is to take your taxes to an H & R Block kind of place and have a review done of your return (I think it’s $40 dollars or so, but I think I have a coupon that makes it less). Anyway, I only use a tax preparer because one of my good friends is an H & R Block store manager and she does ours for free, but I anecdotally know of lots of people who have had their tax burdens significantly reduced (like my friend CC who was in some IRS trouble and had 6 years worth of unpaid tax bills totalling over $106,000, and after she saw the H & R Block guy, she got it down to $5,500). I guess what I’m saying is that for 40-ish dollars, you can double check your return and maybe find a way to reduce your burden.

    Yep. See? I don’t just write novellas on my blog- I’ll hijack YOUR blog and write them here, too! Ha, ha, ha!

  5. Yep, tax forms are another nod to fertile crowd and a “thumb your nose” at those who want ’em but can’t always have ’em. And the itemizing all of the IVF and related medical bills — talk about insult to injury when the outcome wasn’t we wanted. Totally hear you…

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