Friday, October 02, 2009

Why are taxes so complicated?

Darling OtherCousin* has neglected to do her taxes for many many years. In her defense, she is disabled and thought that Social Security and payments from a disability settlement are not taxable. (uhmmm no)

I am not afraid of taxes. Mountains of math and scary paperwork do not send me running for the hills, because I know a secret**.

Taxes are complicated (only if you have money) not to screw people with money out of it, but to give people with money a thousand tiny ways to pay less in taxes. The lower on the totem pole you go wage wise, the simpler your tax forms get. The higher up, the more complicated. I've filled out an alphabet soup of schedules and a number pie of forms.

So with the IRS looming, I've spent the last few days bogged down in paperwork just so we can prove that OtherCousin does not owe the IRS 200k and the life blood of her first born child. And after all that work we came up with the best number we could hope for.

Zero. Nada, zilch. No taxes owed. Nothing to see here.

Now we just have to do the same for 2006-2008, and get her better at saving receipts for 2009.

(OtherCousin* would be Wonder's sister.)

**Also- I have superhero powers at wading through bureaucracy. I've out HUDed housing authorities and out FDIC'd bankers. I almost made a bank manager cry once. No shit.

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