Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tax Trauma

It’s April 14. Do you know where your W-2s are? No? Me neither.

It occurred to me Sunday night that I still hadn’t done my state taxes. Federal and the work state were filed months ago. I’ve already gotten refunds back more than two months ago. But Illinois? No.

So last night, I got my tax booklet out and thought: Maybe the state has progressed enough that I can efile on my own? I found at at the IDOR site that no. We’re still in the Neolithic age. I still can’t file online because I get credit for taxes paid to another state. Well, OK. We’ll do it the hard way.

There was just one problem with that: I STILL couldn’t find my W-2s. I looked everywhere they should have been. Even a few other likely spots, but no dice. I found a lot of the mother’s Medicare paperwork and reams of info on her supplemental insurance. And I did manage to easily locate W-2s from years 2003 through 2007. Go figure.

By this time, I’m starting to panic just a little. If I couldn’t get this done tonight, that left me just one more night to work it out. Then, it occurred to me, that at least once, in addition to figuring my state tax (to make sure my numbers were good), I actually had my online service file them. Not last year, but a year or two before. Since it costs more, I usually just have them do the math, make notes of what boxes and stuff to look for and then use a paper form. (I already pay them to do federal and one state.)

But my home state is the bear. They have a schedule and a worksheet and you have to send both the other state and your federal forms to them, too. So, going online would simplify the process dramatically.

Happily, I discovered that if I paid my online preparer, they could file my state tax online. WTF? Why if I pay someone to do it, can it be done? So not getting that.

I did, however, cheerfully approve the transaction – especially once I discovered that the preparer automatically filled in 90 percent of the information. I had only to provide a few numbers that I didn’t need W-2s for. Whew. Got that done and with little time to spare!

I know that one of these days, when I’m not even thinking about them, I’ll find those W-2s. Such is life at This D*mn House. Now, here's hoping that sometime very soon -- if not already -- I find an email telling me that my tax form has been accepted!