Monday, March 30, 2009
You think the tiny folk can reclaim a little satisfaction vs. the Powers That Be? WRONNNG!
I've always prided myself in doing our taxes by myself each year. (Well, not exactly, I enlist the help of TurboTax, which I use to do not only our income taxes, but the mother-in-law's as well.) But armed with that and 'my brilliant accounting accumen' (sic), I've always had the bravado to curse the screwed up income tax system of this country saying, "If I and TurboTax can't solve it, 'Fuck the government,' they can go without!"
If I have been distracted from blogging these past few days, it's because I'm choking on my words. With two weeks til the filing deadline approaching, it appears I may have to swallow my pride.
My first mistake came in bragging to Mrs. Dada -- after completing the M-I-L's return, "I filed electronically!" It was free, no printing a return, preparing/stamping it for mailing, etc. Within five or six hours the return was kicked back -- apparently an irresolvable conflict with the M-I-L's date of birth between Social Security and the IRS.
Then came our return. Seems last September we received a check in the mail -- the result of a class action suit we joined some years ago and forgot about. It was against our mutual fund company whose brochures back at the end of the last Century looked more like a promotion for a ski resort than an investment company. But, hey, it was the "Age of Irrational Exuberance." Everyone in the market was getting "rich", right? (Ask our former sorry-assed and irrationally exuberant Fed Chairman, Alan Greenspan.)
Why, hell!, I confess: Back then I was thinking if the bloated stock market continued after Bush won office in 2000, I'd probably be a Republican by '04 and vote for the bastard's reelection, right? Just like all our fat, sorry-assed conservative friends (now former friends).
But that didn't happen. We lost money. But our mutual fund investment advisors kept skiing and living the high life, assuring us our retirements were secure with them.
So this past September comes the long since forgotten lawsuit settlement against this company for their questionable trading practices in the form of a check for $359+. A FREAKIN windfall that extends the Dada's comfortable, care-free life expectancy another week and two days!! But here's the part I didn't pay a lot of attention to in "the warning" (in bold type) about cashing the check, to wit:
"CAUTION: Before you deposit or otherwise negotiate this check it is very important you understand the tax implication that my arise in connection with this payment."
Long story, short, I ignored it. I figured the $359 was our entitlement and I would simply claim it on our '08 taxes...but I couldn't have been more wrong.
And now I am faced with several alternatives after searching for the proper way to claim/pay for/resolve this "windfall" -- without any help from TurboTax. It appears I've finally reached that pinnacle of American financial success, i.e., I need financial advice!
My choices go from pretending I forgot to include this on our 2008 return and spend the rest of my life in dread of every day mail as it is delivered to the house that it may contain an official looking envelope from the IRS, to filing an extension, admitting I am no longer capable of interpreting IRS tax codes and go to H&R Block, or one of numerous tax preparers, and fork over a goodly portion of our last September's "windfall."
But here's the real kicker: Over the weekend, we received yet another check in resolution of another class action lawsuit against this same ski-bunny company. In a moment of what should be glee, one of unexpected monies to pay for an extra week or two or groceries, we are instead confronted with the same "Before you deposit or otherwise negotiate this check....." warning.
And now, instead of a windfall, I'm seeing this newest $check$ as a curse and, pending the outcome of the first one, I may decide it's cheaper to just concede to the threat, forgo the money and burn my latest god-damned settlement check's "windfall" I can't really fuckin' afford!