Thanks to the way I lost my shit last May, I had a staggering $10k in medical expenses, all told--including insurance, hospital fees, ER fees, doctor fees, lab fees, ambulance fees, fee fees, and the horse I rode in on; therapy came to about $3k all by itself. Naturally you're not allowed to deduct the whole amount; you have to multiply your adjusted gross income by 7.5% and subtract that from the total medical expenses, and that is the amount you get to deduct.
Even so, thanks to the foresight I somehow had in having the banks withhold 10% of the money I inherited from my Mom's IRAs, I only have to write a check for $1,700 to Uncle Sam. Also, bonus points for establishing a new IRA and putting in the maximum contribution, because that let me deduct another $5k.
And all of these are things I can produce either receipts or cancelled checks for. *flex*
This time two weeks ago I was really fretting, because I saw the tax bracket I was in (that I thought I was in) and thought, "I'm gonna have to write them a HUGE FUCKING CHECK!!!" Well, I don't, and THANK GOD.
It would probably have been less if I'd secured the services of an accountant. Next time I'm orphaned and inherit a large sum of money, I'll have to remember that; but at the time (about this time last year, oddly enough) I was most assuredly NOT thinking straight. I only thought I was. *sigh*
But $1,700 isn't too bad, and while I'll have to take that out of my IRA (and therefore claim it as income next year) it won't be too egregious.
As bad as this is for me, my sister and brother have it worse. I kinda-sorta got away with not going to an accountant even though I should have; but they can't do that. They make $$$ (brother is MD and sister is PhD) and their share of the inheritance will have caused major headaches for them. I suppose if I'd managed to hang on to that job in Rantoul (with my fingernails and the last shreds of my sanity) I'd be in the same boat--to a lesser extent--because that was a pretty good-paying job considering the circumstances.
Well, my brother uses an accountant anyway, so it was an incremental cost for him. Not sure about my sister.
...but they're done, and I'll be going to the bank tomorrow morning to do the paperwork and get a cashier's check; I'll stop at the post office on my way home to mail it, and it'll be completely off my "to do" list.
* * *
I could have gotten them done yesterday and mailed today if I'd had to. But why give the feds your money any sooner than you have to? It's all just going to be wasted anyway, and they've already spent (last year) the money I had withheld. The feds will spend the $1,700 I owe them in 0.034 seconds. (Under Obama the feds have been spending about $3,000,000 per minute--or $50,000 per second.)
* * *
I had done the rough calculations last week some time. If it weren't for the way they depreciate your medical expenses deduction I would have been paying $1,000 less than I am. Gay.
But I'm glad I went through everything with a fine-toothed comb and made sure of my numbers. I'd rather have it be right--and have to pay some more--than to get myself noticed by the big flaming Sauron eye of the IRS. Because even if you always tell the whole truth on your IRS forms, an audit is a disaster that sucks down your time and money. You have to produce receipts and a whole bunch of documentation, and frequently they'll go back several years rather than audit just that year's return, and-and-and.
...and even if things check out they can still get you under "rule 1001" if you make a misstatement, even if it was the result of an honest mistake. Yeah, ask Martha Stewart if she's happy with how her federal case went. So you need a lawyer involved, too, and those guys don't work for chicken feed.
* * *
But today I stayed in bed a lot. I got up around 10:30-ish to feed the cats and myself, and to write today's post; but after that I returned to bed and slept...and when I woke up I was surprised to see that it was already 5:30.
It had to be done, though; for the past week my sleep has been less than stellar and today I actually felt relaxed and calm enough that I could really sleep well--and I did, even without taking any Xanax. The bed was comfortable, the cats didn't bother me, the phone didn't ring.
Then: General Tao's Chicken for dinner, because it's been a while and I had a hankering for it last night, but it was too late and the Chinese place was going to close. (I looked at their hours and said, "Yeah, it's too late." I didn't even bother calling.)
Anyway: time for WoW!