Thursday, February 10, 2011

faxes and taxes

Strangely enough, Matt and I both had Close Encounters of the Fax Machine Kind today. His story was better than mine…but isn’t it a little weird that we both dealt with faxes today? I mean…unless you’re in real estate…or an athlete on College Signing Day…I just didn’t think people used faxes that much. Hence the reason I created my whole “fax machines” ‘tag’ a few years ago. I thought it would be funny since that was surely the only fax story I would ever tell.

Not so!

My story is rather boring. Pretty much your basic how the heck do these things WORK???? story that involves me standing in the office, randomly mashing buttons on a fax machine for an hour until I just give up and re-type all the information on the form to email it to the girl who needs it while I inter-office-mail the actual form. Right. Boring.

Matt’s story was better. An agent called him and requested that he fax some insurance information to him. Matt repeatedly tried faxing to the number the guy gave him, but the fax kept coming back with no answer. Shortly thereafter, a woman called the bank’s call center and asked to be transferred to Matt. The lady runs a sex phone line on the West coast and Matt was tying up her line by trying to send faxes. Could he please stop already?? Um…okay? Ha!!! I thought that was pretty funny. If you knew my husband in real life, you would think it’s pretty funny too.

Now on an unrelated-but-rhyming-note…taxes.

We did our taxes last weekend. I am always super excited to do taxes because I think it’s fun to fill in lots of little boxes. It could be strange, but it’s true. I do not like to give other people (ie: accountants, my husband…) the joy of doing my taxes for me because then I wouldn’t get to feel like I’m crunching lots of numbers, and also because it makes me feel like a really good citizen to do my own taxes. Oh, it also makes me feel smart to do my own taxes. Because lots of people have to go pay someone else to do it for them, right? So somehow it makes me superior since I don’t.

Just a little over-the-top honesty for ya, there. But please know that I realize we have the easiest taxes ever. I realize most people’s are much more complicated and need more expertise. We have no dependents, no self-employment, no energy-efficient upgrades, no stock-selling-that-led-to-gambling-losses…just two W-2s and not a whole lot else. Anyway. I’ve digressed.

For some reason, one of the other reasons I so eagerly anticipate doing my taxes is that I was led to believe that we would get this windfall of cash known as a “tax refund.” That hasn’t always been the case. Back when I was single (and the first year we were married) I had a lot (relatively speaking, of course) of self-employment income. (Note: and I paid an accountant to do my taxes for me. So I’m not above that.) That meant I always owed lots of money come tax season, so naturally I did not look forward to that day and I procrastinated it as long as possible, even filing for extensions some years! Woohoo, I was THAT excited about taxes. But now that I don’t nanny for a living, and we own a house that we pay lots of interest on our mortgage, and we file jointly, and we have a lot of deductions…I don’t know, I just thought that somehow all that meant you were supposed to GET money come tax day. I didn’t even know how much most people got, but it seems like it must be a lot since I hear about people going on vacations and re-doing their floors and buying TVs with their tax refunds.

I couldn’t wait to get a piece of that pie.

Last year I sure did. But I knew it would be an exception: We bought a house and got the $8000 first-time homebuyers credit. So that was fun and all, but I certainly knew it wouldn’t always be that good.

But, long story short: all my excitement about taxes was for naught. I mean, it was still fun filling in the boxes and feeling all smarty pants and superior. But that cash windfall?? Didn’t happen. Actually, we OWED money to the federal government…$82 to be precise. On the plus side, we do get a nice refund from the state (enough that we’ll still end up on the positive side)…but that owing $82 was just enough to break my heart. I mean, it’s no big deal…it’s 82 bucks. But I was so thinking we were going to GET money. Not GIVE. Tax fail.

Anyway. I’m sure this is a story no one cares about, but I just wanted you to know that NO, we will not be joining you on your tax-refund-funded vacations or car-buying sprees. We’ll be sitting at home (where at least we have INTERNET now!), trying to figure out how to make next year’s tax day a little less anticlimactic.

Probably by filing via fax machine!! Now there’s a scenario that couldn’t possibly go awry.

I love when I can bring a blog full circle.


  1. I still don't know how people get these $7,000-$8,000 refunds even in years without the house buying credit. Do their employers withhold like 50% of their salary for taxes and that's why they're due so much back? Last year we owed $1000 and it hurt so bad to send that check in. This year I was dreading it only to find out we GET $2000. $2000 is good on any day but it felt like $3000 since I was already planning on shelling out another $1000.

    Taxes are confusing and can be scary, basically.

    A sex line called Matt. LOL. That IS funny.

  2. Ha this is why I think you're great- I love doing taxes too! And I, too, always hope for a refund although that is rarely the case. Shouldn't we get some kind of refund for all of the money we poured into fertility treatments? No? :)

  3. Oh my gosh, I had to use a fax machine at least 10 times a day when I worked at the bank. Glad to end that relationship, they are beasts!

  4. I am totally going to go off the "nerdy" end of the tax discussion... those people who get large amounts back are giving the IRS an interest-free loan for a whole year! They live without those thousands of dollars during the year, so its actually their own money that they are getting back, not additional money from the governments pockets.

    ugh, my husband has trained me well in that response! ewww, taxes are gross!

  5. I love filing taxes too. But I hate filing taxes when we owed.. that SUCKED, even with a house and the associated interest. But I loooooooooooove paperwork and that is why I love filing taxes.. usually!


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