TheRealSharon's Blog











{January 31, 2011}   Taxes and staying organized…a contradiction?

One of the disadvantages of being a grownup!

Finally got mine AND my husband’s W2 forms in today so a majority of today was getting taxes done. Ugh! Doing taxes is so not fun! Luckily, me and my husband are not rich (Yes, I know, doesn’t make sense, huh?) so we actually get some money back and don’t have to pay anything.

Getting them done this year wasn’t too bad, I guess. Other than some yelling in frustration by my husband, it went relatively smoothly. Thankfully, his mom and dad helped my husband over the phone with issues he had and he got it done on turbo tax’s website. So….crisis averted. Taxes done for another year and boy, am I ever relieved!

One thing I realized in getting things together to do taxes is that I am unbelievably lacking in the organization of papers. I just put them all beside me in this little gift bag or on my nightstand amidst a bunch of magazines and some books. However, this results in me having to go through a million papers to find the ones I want. Therefore, I have decided I need to see about getting some kind of a box(maybe even make one of my own) and get some file folders and labels. Then I can sort out all bills and important documents and have them readily available to save time. While I’m at it, I could probably do with some more storage boxes, drawers and whatnot as well. I admit it, I am a clutter whore. If that’s not a word, then it IS now, because I have just made it my own!

My dad is a pack rat. My family can attest to this. Every time I would clean up when I lived at home, my dad would go through our trash and take out anything he thought was still good. It was nothing unusual for me to walk through the house and see stuff on cabinets that I threw away and have a deja vu face. In the beginning, it made me go crazy. Sometimes I literally felt like I had lost my marbles and was not actually throwing away the items like I originally thought I had. Then I realized I DID in fact, throw them away, and NO, they were not growing legs and crawling out of the trash by themselves to play tricks on me. It was just my pack rat dad who never wanted to throw anything away. Unfortunately, now every time I start to throw something away, I have to fight with myself. Is this still any good? Could I use this for something else? It’s extremely annoying and I seriously do not want to end up on Hoarders!

Ok, my apartment is NOT that bad. I don’t want to give anyone the wrong idea. I just have too many things and lack good organizational skills for the things I do need and actually use. I know that there’s no way I will wake up tomorrow and be a totally different me, it’s just not happening, but I do want to start small and try to get a little in order at a time. Meanwhile, any tips or suggestions from any one reading this would be so greatly appreciated. Seriously…

~Sighs~ Taxes and organizing…my life has become so boring….

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postadaychallenge2011 says:

If you ever need tips on organizing and taxes or paper work I have many of them.

The end of the year is coming up quickly, and with the end of the year comes tax time!   Tax time is a time of year that many folks look forward to because they use their taxes as a way to save and get a once a year windfall in the form of a tax refund.  While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing that, the fact is that the average tax refund for 2010 was around $2,892, so a lot of people will be ready to file as soon as they can. They want their money!
2011 Tax Time Checklist
When filling out your taxes there are a lot of things you need to remember to have handy.  In fact when filling out your taxes there are 165 blanks on tax form 1040, 127 on Form 1040A, 94 on Schedule C, 77 on 1040EZ, 55 on Schedule A,  and 44 on Schedule B!  That’s a lot of blanks to fill in!
So what information should you have handy when doing your taxes?
• Tax returns for the last two years
• Birth dates and occupation(s)
• Change of address (if you moved)
• Bank name, routing and account numbers (for refunds or payments)
• Spouse name and social security number
• Dependents names and social security numbers
• W2s and 1099s for all income and compensation
• 1099 Interest, 1099 dividends, 1099 Misc, 1099C cancellation of debt, 1099G unemployment compensation, 1099R distribution from IRA, 401k, etc.
• Last year’s state tax refund
• health care costs if they were greater than 7.5% of AGI
• State and local income tax, car sales tax
• Charitable contributions
• Theft and casualty losses
• Home office deductions
• IRA or contributions to pension plans
• Student loan interest
• Moving expenses
• Student tuition fees
• Estimated federal and state tax payments
• First time homebuyer tax credit info
• Energy efficient home improvement tax credit info
• Credit for child and dependent care info
• Education credit info
• Child tax credit/adoption credit info
So there’s a good start on the information that you should have handy when filing your taxes this year.
What Does It Cost To Prepare And File Your Taxes?
The costs for doing your taxes can vary pretty widely depending on if you’re hiring someone to do them for you, you file a paper form yourself, or if you use an online software to file (which 32% of people did in 2010).  Your amount of income made can also have an impact as there is free-file available for some lower income folks.
• Hiring someone costs on average:  $230.
• Using an online software costs: Anywhere from $18-60 on average, depending on which software or site you use.
Reasons To Pay Someone To Do Your Taxes
There are a variety of reasons that you might want to hire someone to do your taxes for you.
• You’re self employed and have a complicated tax situation.
• You got married or divorced in the past year, and your situation is changing.
• You’ve  bought or sold investments during the year, or received a large windfall.
• You just don’t do well with complicated topics like taxes.
• You think you could save a lot of money using tax strategies you don’t understand.
I’m sure there are more reasons to pay someone to do it for you, tell us yours in the comments!
What do you think of our checklist. Did we leave anything off the list – what would you add?  Any other tax time tips for the rest of us?



allison says:

holy crow!!! my tips aren’t nearly that long—and much as i love your dad, he’s a real sweetie, but he’s a hoarder–lol!! holler when you get ready to organize and i’ll come help out, remember how organized all my census paperwork was??? go to the expert :-))



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