Thursday, February 09, 2006

Taxes? Yeesh!

Just when I think I'm confident in my ability to do something, change comes along. As always with the Gubmint, the change is not exactly for the better.

Tele-File is dead. I've been tele-filing my taxes for a few years, now. It had gotten pretty easy. The IRS mails you the returns, you fill them out, and you call them at the 800 number. The computer voice walks you through the process, and when you are done ... BINGO! ... your taxes are filed!

Not no more, Compadre!

No, the IRS sent a nice, multi-colored postcard - a bog thing! - to say that the Tele-File was dead. It then directs me to go to the IRS E-file page, online. Easy, right?

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Before, I refused to efile my taxes, because you were required - as far as I understood! - to use a tax program, like Quicken or something. A program that you had to purchase! Yeah, I was gonna do that. Buy something I couldn't afford to do my tax return so I could, maybe, pay the Gubmint money I didn't have. Ohhhh, yeah, thats a good idea to me!

Okay, so I type the addy in my browser, and off I go! So far so good. Except ... you cannot simply file your return at the IRS. They aren't equipped. Or they aren't interested in being equipped. No, you have to go to an outside website to use a tax-preparer. This is through a link to an IRS page called FreeFile. Isn't that special, eh?

Okay, so I'm off on a new adventure. I click on a link and head to a new site - that of a tax-preparer. Off-site. Away from the IRS. A third party! Just what I wanted. I like having my meager earnings seen, possibly, by a third party, don't you?

Trust me, I do not like doing this stuff without enough information at hand. Too many places give you little iconic links to help you. But when you click on them - within the form you are working on - you end up with your form erased. Luckily, this site does not do that. They are fairly into the 21st Century.

So, I doggedly filled in the tiny blank boxes, and hit the "next" buttons, and progressed through the site. There I was, fearfully awaiting the page that asked about 'Home Equity Loan Rates' or 'Mortgage Depreciation'. Heck, just about anything would throw a wrench in the works for me. And it was tedious, but not as difficult as I had feared. I actually finished in less than a half-hour. Now, that's because I have damn near nothing. But I did finish. Not too many error pages popped up during the ordeal.

So, I learned a lesson, I think. I did what I had to do. I was afraid it would be hard, or impossible to complete. It wasn't.

"...I'm scared o' lots o' things. But y' can't

let that run yer life. Sometimes y' gotta . . . grit yer teeth

‘n go ahead. Usually what yer afraid of doesn't happen. Or

it's not as bad as you were expectin'."

Isaac Benning, 1780 - "Benning's War"

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