Thursday, February 4, 2010

Racing

The past two mornings I’ve been racing the bus to the station. Each day, I’ve managed to stay a single stoplight ahead of it.

Last week, I was racing to do my taxes. My taxes are pretty straightforward, just a little time-consuming, and I pride myself on getting them filed before the end of January. That’s something I’ve done the past few years. Well, I was a little slow on the draw this year and I only filed them yesterday.

I awoke this morning to find that my federal return has been accepted; my money should arrive next week. YAYYY! No word yet on Missouri. I guess it’s a good thing I break even with my home state every year as if you’re expecting money from the state of Illinois these days, I wouldn’t hold my breath. And I was holding my breath, too, with the new income tax hike our esteemed governor enacted in 2009. Apparently, I still send enough money collectively to both Missouri and the City of St. Louis to satisfy the man.

Also, by filing early, I figure I can make sure I get my money before either the feds or the state run out of it. (I was lucky last year to file early as I got my return in just ahead of Missouri announcing it would be delaying state income tax payments.

E-filing is awesome. I’ve been doing it with federal since it started. For states, it’s only been in the past few years that I have been able to file online in both Missouri and Illinois. (For a while, I couldn’t in Missouri because I’m a non-resident and there’s a whole bunch of hoops to go through for that; likewise in Illinois only because I have non-resident income.) That’s all changed now though.

I use TaxAct.com. You can file a federal return for free but I usually spring for the $13.95 version that lets you file federal and one state, plus it walks you through a bunch of tax code updates and alerts you to things that appear missing or wrong based on previous years. That fee also lets me import all of my information from last year, too, so I don’t have to enter address and employment information at all, unless it has changed. (Which it hasn’t. Almost 10 years with this company and nearly 24 years with the same address.) Pretty painless overall. You can both print and download a PDF of your return and any associated forms, so you have them on file away from the site, too.

I’ll get around to filing Illinois myself. Since we don’t owe each other anything, that’s usually an 11:59 p.m. April 15 process. That’s too far into the future to even contemplate right now. Of course, the way this year is buzzing by, it won’t be long at all.