Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Tag: taxes

Live-Blogging: Death & Taxes

Yes, I am using my FanBase for stress relief.

These will be my federal taxes. I never inflict both federal and state on myself on the same day.

No, I do not file them online. No, I do not itemize. No, I do not have them done by a professional.  I am lazy and miserly, and do not want my taxes/bill-paying dependent on whether I have internet access. Plus, I never hooked up my printer. See “lazy” above. OK, see “autistic inertia” as well. And fear of the unknown. And stuff.

My, I have a lot of forms. Pension, Social Security, final W2…I’m frightened already. Maybe I shouldn’t be responsible for my own affairs.

Damn, I didn’t buy alcohol to reward myself with. Afterwards, I mean. Although drunk tax-doing would be entertaining. The IRS will probably send me a letter anyway, saying, “Were you drunk when you did this?”

“First name and middle initial.” I got this.

“Last name.” I’ve made a good start.

Oh no, I got up to use the bathroom and discovered that my service cat Esmerelda had been waiting patiently in the hall for me to get up, and she came to me crying. ‘LIE DOWN ON THE BED AND LET ME NURSE ON YOUR HAND, IT’S PROVEN TO LOWER YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE, DO IT NOW NOW NOW!!!”

Back 4 minutes later, after washing the cat spit off my hand. Much purring was obtained.

Line 9a–“Ordinary dividends.” As opposed to…? Oh, “qualified dividends.” These terms seem overly subjective.

“Special rules may apply if your home was in one of the Presidentially-declared disaster areas.” Well, he declares everything a disaster area. How about “the industrial Midwest”?

“You can ask the IRS to figure out the taxable portion of your pension for you for a $1000 fee.” I get the feeling they’re trying to discourage that practice. Luckily, the pension people already figured it out for me.


“Report the taxable portion of your pension from form 1099 on line 12b. But you may be able to report a lower amount if you use the General Rule or the Simplified Method instead.” I’ll take my chances. I have a feeling that the Method isn’t really Simplified enough for me. It’s a trivial amount anyway.

Nick, there are all kinds of alternate rules for military personnel. Sucks to be you.


“Subtract line 10 from line 9.

Enter the smaller of line 9 or line 10.

Enter one-half of line 12.

Enter the smaller of line 2 or line 13.

Multiply line 11 by 85%. If zero, enter 0.” Well, duh.

“Add lines 14 and 15.

Multiply line 1 by 85%.”

THEY DIDN’T SAY SIMON SAYS! And that will be my defense in court. Oh no, now I hear sirens! They’re on to me.

Seriously, this is the part I always screw up. Sometimes to their benefit, sometimes to mine, never involving very much money.

“Line 19–Reserved for future use.” If you say so.

“If you checked any box on line 23a, use the Standard Deduction Chart For People Who Were Born Before Jan. 2, 1953 Or Are Blind.” Darn it, Rom.

“If refund amount is $1 or less, we will send a refund only on written request.” Half of your refund will go for the stamp needed to mail that request.

“Bank routing number–the first two digits must be 01 through 12 or 21 through 32.” Why? What happened to 13 through 20?

Time to check my math! Wish me luck. (“It’s not a matter of luck,” Nick says primly.)

Well, now it’s storming. Thunder and lightning are always reassuring on the completion of one’s taxes.














3:26 and All Is Not Well

“…I was up till 3:30 last night,” says Stephen Colbert, as if there’s something unusual about that. I cannot rest until I write. I’m like Cat Esmerelda with petting–“I’VE DONE WITHOUT IT FOR DAYS, BUT NOW I MUST STAND IN THE HALLWAY AND YELL, AND GET IN FRONT OF YOU WHEN YOU TRY TO LEAVE THE ROOM, AND COME BACK AND GET YOU WHEN YOU WALK AWAY FROM ME, BECAUSE I HAVE TO HAVE IT NOW NOW NOW–”

Ahem. Anywayz, the 28th was Rom’s birthday (he’s 65! how did that happen?), and we went to Turoni’s with D. It’s a good thing I remembered what I wanted (3-cheese/chicken/broccoli pizza, yum!), because their current menu struck me like a blow (albeit a very minor one–unlike their bathroom, which thanks to their mid-century modern decorating scheme reminded me of the restrooms of my childhood, so I expected their toilet to do likewise, and instead it was a supersonic TOILET OF THE FUTURE, and startled me when I flushed), because the menu was an over-crowded BARRAGE OF WORDS, and I was momentarily overwhelmed. (The accompanying illustrations did not help. Pictures on a menu should be of food, not cartoon characters.) I had been thinking I might like an alcoholic beverage (or 2, or 3, or 4), but that required a separate menu to present their hellish profusion of beers, so that was Not Gonna Happen. By the way, the pizzas of my table companions were overly colorful. A pizza should not look like it has confetti strewn over it.

This post is reading like a grab bag of World Leader Edicts. And I’ve only just begun.


You didn’t know I had one, did you? Neither did I.

Nothing like a letter from that source which cheerily begins, “We’re NOT accusing your of identity theft!” Oh?

“…but you need to go to our website, and pass a quiz to verify your identity, which will only take a few minutes, and we’ll give you 3 chances to pass it, and then we’ll send you your refund, if you first tell us the exact amount of the refund you were claiming.”


I grumpily went to my pile of leftover tax documents. Well, guess what? After doing the taxes, I had separated the paperwork into 2 piles–one to toss and one to keep–and guess what I did. That’s right, I threw the wrong ones away. Stuff like this would make me think dementia is setting in, except that I’ve been doing stuff like this my whole life. It’s a wonder I can even feed myself. Oh wait, I don’t, Rom feeds me. Well, not by hand, because I bite.

Soooo…I don’t have the paperwork they require, so I need to call them, at their non-toll-free number. How can I prove I’m not the identity thief they’re not accusing me of being? Maybe they’ll tell me to come up to Indianapolis with my state I.D. (it’s like a driver’s license, except that it says Don’t Let This Person Drive) to get my refund.

You know, I carefully arrange my life so I seem normal, to myself and others. But going to a city I’ve never been to, where I know no one, and try and find a building I’ve never been to? That is so Not Gonna Happen. They can just keep my refund, paltry as it is. Identity theft has claimed another victim.

Live-Blogging: Death & Taxes and Stuff

I have written our names and Social Security numbers on the form.

Oh wait, Cat Esmerelda is yelling for me! Maybe if I ignore her she’ll go away.

Why does the IRS make us send our W2’s? They have all that information anyway. Why file at all?

“Make sure the SSN’s are correct.” No, I’m going to give you incorrect information. You are as bad as officers on the air–“Call back and get a better location.” I GAVE YOU THE BEST THAT I COULD. (Actually, that request always makes me think of the time a co-worker responded, “Johnson Place?”)

“Do you want to contribute to the Presidential Election fund?” No, I’m probably not even voting for President this time around.

I do not understand the difference between exemptions and deductions. Never have, never will.

I wonder if they care if I put an X or a check mark in the boxes. However, don’t care enough to read the instructions and find out. Perhaps they’ll audit me as a result.

“If more than six dependents, see instructions.” If more than six dependents, you’re probably broke.

Why is there a kernel of cat litter on my desk?

“Wages, salaries, tips, etc.” What would “et cetera” be, exactly? Money I found on the street?

Ooh! I have email!

“Taxable interest.” Oops, can’t find the form. I know it was a tiny helpless amount, so let’s just hope it’s below the taxable threshold. It always has been before.

Esmerelda wonders why there are papers all over my desk, and gives up trying to get in the window.

I have another email! I feel popular.

I am currently resenting Rom for being on Social Security and making me do this form instead of the EZ one. This one is not EZ. Speaking of Ez, I don’t see/hear her, but I suspect she’s right around the corner in the hall, waiting, quivering, for me to move or speak.

OK, one form says “Divide by half” and the other says “Multiply by 50%.” Which is it?…Oh.

“If you are married, filing jointly, enter $32,000.” That seems arbitrary.

“Line 10: If married, filing jointly, enter $12,000.” See, I told you it was arbitrary.

“Enter the smaller of line 9 or line 10. Enter one-half of line 12. Enter the smaller of line 2 or line 13. Multiply line 11 by 85%. Add lines 14 and 15.” OK, now they’re just facking with me. I’ll have you know that all this isn’t even the official form, it’s just a worksheet to determine if Rom’s Social Security benefits are taxable. See paragraph 15 above. Multiply by 85%.

I didn’t do the taxes while I was on vacation, because I was usually drunk. Now I need alcohol and have none.

The year before last, they sent me a note saying I’d done this worksheet wrong. IF YOU KNOW SO MUCH, WHY DON’T YOU DO IT YOURSELF??

Finally finished the SS part. Now resisting urge to curl up under desk. Checking to make sure Ez isn’t in her usual spot under there, in case that becomes necessary.

Rom comes in and starts playing with my hair. I CAN’T WORK UNDER THIS KIND OF PRESSURE!!

“Need more information or forms?” No, I have more information and forms than I can handle, thanks.

“Do you want the IRS to figure your tax for you?”  I burst into tears. WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME THAT WAS AN OPTION AT THE BEGINNING? SEE PARAGRAPH 2 ABOVE!! Oh wait, if I wanted that, I’d need Publication 17. They’re just teasing.

“Use the tax table to figure your tax, unless you need Form 8615.” If I needed Form 8615, I wouldn’t tell you.

Oops, looked at Earned Income Credit table, not Tax Table. Now it all makes sense! Just kidding.


…Back eons later, after dinner and Colbert.

“Check this box if you have health care coverage.” All I have to do is check a box? How do you know I’m not lying? Not that I am, of course.

Hmm, our refund is twice as much as it usually is. I await auditing.

I have the feeling most of you are in bed by now.




Death & Taxes & Ridealongs

Just finished them taxes–yeah, live dangerously!

Speaking of death (as he would no doubt like to think of himself), I ran into Nick and the long-suffering (or is that short, suffering) Sam. He revealed that he won’t fight at Guns & Hoses because it might mess up his pretty face (which would thwart the aspiration he mentioned to me the last time I ran into him, which was to become a porn star–he never got around to explaining why that career path hasn’t worked out for him. He also suggested I could become one, but I disagree, since I have no acting ability.) . He also called me ugly, opined that my vacations would be boring without him (this is known as being Desperate for Validation), and said, “How about a mini ride-along? I’ll give you a ride home!” What a pitiful fantasy about something to which I will never consent. (“Oh, that won’t be necessary,” he murmurs…) And why won’t I consent, you may be wondering? (Or you may not be, but far be it from me to sound Desperate for Validation.)


–I might encounter something gross or messy (for example, dead bodies, mud, a house full of fleas/roaches/bedbugs/eyebrow mites).

–I might encounter something dangerous–high-speed pursuit, BEING SHOT AT (or, as Rom says, “the bullet that’s marked ‘To Whom It May Concern'”). As I’ve said before (hell, by now I’ve probably said everything before in one post or another), if I’d wanted to put myself in danger, I’d have become a cop. (Now there’s a thought for you. Just think about it a moment.) If anything were to befall me on one of these mandatory adventures, I–or my next of kin–might decide to become part of our litigious (I always want to say “litiginous” for some reason) society.

–I might encounter Nick in other than my optimum situation of, “Thanks for the ride. You can go now.” (I should probably throw him a couple cat treats for his trouble–I got a bale of ’em on sale at the $ General.) And that might involve…well, I prefer not to speculate, that being what’s known as Borrowing Trouble. (I promise to give it back when I’m done with it!)


–“Sir, our police department does not use helicopters.” Damn!

–“I’m making a traffic stop on a riding lawnmower.” Now that’s more like it!

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