Taxes, Tips, and Tantrums

I must’ve angered the tax gods because I’m still unable to cross this damned project off my list. What’s taking me so long? I always itemize my deductions, a task that will always and forever be tedious. Nonetheless, in the adult world, it’s important to itemize your deductions to see if itemizing or taking the standard deduction will benefit you. Feel free to check out Nerd Wallet’s blog on Itemized Deductions if you want to learn more.

Another added delay is due to my decision to use the TurboTax Live Self-Employed ($199.99 or $179.99 + 2% cash back through Ebates) option. Once you complete all the requested information and provide blood and your firstborn child, you will have the option of scheduling a live meeting with a CPA/EA to review your taxes before submitting, which is comforting for someone who is recently unemployed and has a small business and other complex tax situations.

I should note that this is my first time meeting with a CPA or EA via the web, so I’ll make sure to report back tomorrow. I can, however, vouch for the EA with TurboTax’s Max Audit Defense, who assisted the Mister and myself during a stressful tax review of our 2016 returns. Long story longer, during a 401k rollover, one of the two institutions we were working with inadvertently transposed some numbers, and we were staring at a pretty scary notice of:

Please remit XX dollars to Uncle Sam within the month, or we will slaughter you and your entire bloodline.

Thankfully, our superhero EA was more than empathetic each time I lost my shit on the phone.  He explained that he would (i) manage all correspondence with the IRS moving forward and that we should notify him if the IRS reached out; (ii) superhero EA would then review all documents and contact me with any additional needs and/or updates; (iii) after an eternity, the IRS would decide either (a) we don’t owe squat or (b) we owe a shit ton of $$$ + interest, which superhero EA would negotiate to the lowest amount possible. The end result? We didn’t owe a dime since I file/save pretty much EVERYTHING.

Looping back to the last delay, I received a Student Loan Debt Relief Tax Credit (thanks Maryland!). For Marylanders with student loans, each year you can apply for a tax credit to use towards your student loans. The only con is that those of you who e-file, like me, will need to mail in your MD taxes along with the Final Certificate of Approval that is mailed to you. How is this a con? Snail mail means state refunds will take a while to reach your pockets.

At any rate, the 64th Annual Taxing Games are upon us and I hope my tips will help others but please feel free to comment below with your own suggestions and/or experiences.

May the refunds be ever in your favour.

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