Friday, January 16, 2009

money from my uncle

I am no Citibank, but I am standing in line for my chunk of the federal pie.

I came home last night to discover my W-2 in the mail. Now, I have plenty to do. Little things. Like learning Spanish or sorting items for the drive south.

Instead, I sat down at the computer, updated TurboTax, and started transferring data. My intention was to enter my W-2, and get on with the rest of the evening.

But I simply kept going. Twenty minutes later, my federal and state taxes were filed. Now I need only wait for the great refund machine to kick into gear, and I should have the equivalent of a GM loan (or at least a splinter) in my hand before the month ends.

I find it difficult to remember when I had to wait until the end of the month to receive my W-2 forms. Then I would dig up my receipts, and spend several nights on a Bataan death march through the tax forms.

The combination of keeping my financial records in Quicken and using online fling has greatly simplified the process -- and I am positive that the result is far more accurate. The exercise was very reassuring because I now know I can do the whole process from Mexico next year. (OK. Now, I sound like the back of a software box. But I say give credit where credit is due.)

Last year at the end of January, I was celebrating the deposit of my federal refund in
tax and spend. One year on, and I intend to be celebrating at about the same time.

I wonder if I can stretch my birthweek celebration into a birthmonth fête?


Calypso said...

I don't even want to start thinking about taxes until April - of course we never get a refund - always pay in. Thanks for reminding me ;-(

Islagringo said...

You definitely can file your taxes from Mexico using TurboTax. And your refund check (if not auto depostited) will be hand delivered to your door. Sweet.

Larry Lambert said...

Steve - You'll have to problem using TurboTax down here. I've used the product for years, and nothing (paper or CD) ever changes hands. The software is available in download only, most tax records are available online, and of course you can file online. It works as advertised.

Larry Lambert

Steve Cotton said...

Calypso -- Like Jupiter, I am both the bringer of joy -- and sorrow. My soon-to-arrive pension checks will have taxes withheld. I suspect I will always have a small refund due in the future. I recall too well my days in private practice when I had to make estimated tax payments. April was always a very painful month for finances.

Islagringo -- I was plesaed to discover on the Viva Veracruz board last year that a large number of expatriates used TurboTax to file their returns from Mexico. Thanks for the confirmation. The electronic age has certainly lessened one concern for those of us who live (or intend to live) in Mexico.

Larry -- I just talked with te woman who does our payroll. She confirmed that I will be able to get my final W-2 next year online. My bank interest is online. Everything else will be in Quicken. Sounds as easy as filing last night.

glorv1 said...

Steve, you may not get a state return. They are thinking of giving us an IOU and the most interest they will pay is 5%.
I wonder if we can owe them an IOU, not very likely.

Steve Cotton said...

Gloria -- In this instance, I can say I am happy not to live in California. We residents of the People's Republic of Oregon have little in which we can take political pride, but tax refunds are still coming our way. We are rebellious enough that if an IOU showed up in the mail, legislators would start getting notes based on Thomas Fairfax's reminder: "I seem to recall that we cut off a king's head for less than this."

glorv1 said...

heheheehe. Steve you are funny.

Larry Lambert said...

Steve - This is way off-topic, but I wanted to pass it along to you and anybody else that's interested. It was passed to me by a very good Mexican friend. It's from the University of Richmond Law Review. It's a pretty good article on obligations of American immigrants under Mexican law. And you don't have to be a lawyer to understand it!!

Larry Lambert

Anonymous said...

when i turned 50 i celebrated for several months. spent a week in mexico, hiked to the bottom of the grand canyon and ran the bare buns fun run-yup-i really did ;-)

you should definitely celebrate your 6-0 as long as you can.

congrats on filing your taxes.


Steve Cotton said...

Larry -- I have seen the article. I must have read it when you posted it on the message board postings about the use and abuse of FMTs. Of course, just as in any country, there are the laws, and then there are the realities. Thanks for passing along the article.

Teresa -- This has been quite a week. I have now received 4 apple pies (my favorite) and ended up at three separate dinners. I have two more tomorrow and two next Saturday. I may turn one of those meals into a tax return party.