Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy tax day!

Hooray for taxes! Mine are done. Last year I ended up farming them out to a third party to deal with. It was just too much to wrap my head around (and if you read that post and see all the weird loopholes and exceptions we had, I think you will sympathize). I'm kind of glad I did so...but I will also never do that again. I didn't like not being in control of paperwork related to my finances and family, and it made it that much harder to get back into the game this year.

Having said that, I totally figured out our taxes this year, and I am so proud of myself. It's true that our foreign income isn't taxed, but you still have to fill out a return and it's more complicated than regular old US-based income. Then there was the issue of state residency to deal with. Some US expats give up residency; some hang on to a particular state for personal reasons. We severed ties with NY and are now non-resident residents of Oregon. And Oregon is happy to have us on that basis (some states are not so generous).

Then there was form TD F 90-22.1, a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts. I actually still need to mail that in (but "Do NOT file with your Federal Tax Return").

My WAHM job income was all that was taxable in 2011, but that's a good thing since it's still income, and it allows us the privilege of contributing to a Roth IRA.

What weird things did you deal with on your taxes this year? I swear I never feel more like a grownup than on April 15th (or thereabouts).

8 comments:

Susanne said...

How lucky you are that you have to pay so little tax! Wish I could say the same. Quite frankly I'm tired of paying for our too-big, wasteful government and all the freeloaders.

Liz Johnson said...

Here's something... sad, I guess? In almost ten years of marriage, Chris and I have never earned/donated enough to claim anything more than the standard deduction. We almost always qualify to file with the very basic tax form. It's fabulous and easy.

Kathy Haynie said...

Most years we get a refund, this year we owe more than I'd like, but I figure it balances out over time. I am grateful for steady work that I enjoy and pays a solid salary. We "rented" some space behind our garage to a college student living in an old motorhome for most of last year. He occasionally paid us the rent that had been agreed upon, and we forgot to set some aside for taxes. We could ignore that bit of miscellaneous income since it was all cash transactions, and I'm sure he's not reporting it, but we decided we'd rather know we had been honest in our tax return.

I don't personally know any freeloaders, but I sure wish we'd stop spending government money on wars.

Crys said...

Wow, no taxes, that is interesting. Personally I don't mind paying taxes. I was complaining about inheritance tax in front of my children...it just happens to be the one that really ticks me off and I had to stop myself. I said to my kids, "What do you think we use that the government has paid for." And then we named the things. School, police, fire, and nice paved roads. My mom is a teacher. My dad was in the military. I got pell grants when I was in college. Jason's fellowships and residency were government based. We got earned income and child tax credits when we were young and poor. I'm not really keeping good track but it seems like I still pretty much owe the government quit a bit....I don't always have a choice to vote.

Crys said...

Oops what I meant to say here is if I don't like my choices I can vote. My friends recently figured out her own taxes (a young professional family who makes median income)...turns out with all her deductions they pay 3% tax right now. That's what happens young religious people when you have lots of kids, buy a house, and have a lot of interest on your student loans from going to professional school. I don't hear people making the same complaints about tithing. Ten percent that you have absolutely no control over where it goes. I think happiness is based on perspective. My perspective on taxes, we live in a pretty great country and I'm happy to be part of it :)

Susanne said...

Crys, you have a good attitude toward paying taxes. I'm going to try being thankful for all the stuff government pays for from my tax dollars...I do read a lot of library books! :)

As for tithing ...I send directly to organizations I want to support. That way I have some control over where it goes. My church has enough money and I'd rather give to specific groups that pull at my heartstrings.

Thanks for your upbeat attitude. It was helpful!

Jill said...

I am so grateful to you, because I did my taxes in January, but did not file because I owed. I forgot all about it until I got on blogger and saw your post

Kitty Crazy! said...

I participated in a medical research study in early 2011, for C Diff (a very disgusting bowel disease you can pick up in hospitals), for which I was paid $200. They took my blood several times, and I had to fill out lots of forms. I was afraid I'd have to count it as "other income," since I try to be painfully honest about my taxes. Then I decided to call the research lady, and she told me I didn't have to declare it as income, since it was less than $600. Hooray! It saved us a few dollars on taxes, anyway!

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