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Taxation Without Irritation


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#1 fahrquad

fahrquad

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 09:55 AM

I know this is only marginally political, but I spent the better part of yesterday working on our income taxes.  I was expecting changes to the forms from what I had heard on the news last year, but nothing like what I found. 

 

If you are waiting for the IRS to mail you a 1040 form package be advised that they are not unless they are ordered.  They apparently are trying to encourage everyone to file electronically.  While this reduces waste in printing and postage costs for the Treasury, it eliminates the convenience for those without internet access or experience (i.e. seniors).  It also benefits tax preparation services and/or tax software manufacturers and retailers. 

 

What was the 1040 long form has been reduced to two half pages and it appears that the 1040A and 1040EZ forms have been eliminated.  Schedules A and B are still around, but a schedule 1 has been added along with a few dozen other forms and schedules oriented primarily toward businesses. 

 

I have been itemizing my deductions since I bought my first house back in 1986 so I am accustomed to keeping all of my receipts.  With all of the hospital and doctor bills I had from my death and recovery last year, I had a particularly large stack to sort and tabulate which took the better part of the day.  After adjustments and insurance payments, we still had over $11k out of pocket.

 

Be prepared for most of the deductions you had previously itemized to go away this year and in the future, but on a positive note the standard deduction has increased substantially.  Allegedly the Earned Income Credit, which benefits primarily single mothers, has also increased substantially but I haven't bothered looking.  

 

PS, apologies about the "Taxation without Representation" reference in the thread title.   :bad:



#2 fahrquad

fahrquad

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 10:34 AM

Our modest refund is already earmarked primarily for remaining hospital bills with the balance going toward credit cards.  No splurging this year.  Hopefully our personal fiscal austerity will not be indicative of the general economy.  :help:  

 

With the medical bills and credit cards out of the way, I can concentrate on further paying down the mortgage balance.  I currently owe less than 10% of the market value on a house that is way more than twice the size we need.  I am still considering downsizing drastically from almost 3300 square feet total (including unfinished basement/garage) to about 1000 square feet with a detached 3 car garage/workshop.  Anybody wanna buy 2-1/2 1974 MG Midgets? Currently considered "Classics" going on "Antiques".  I don't want to move them for a 3rd time.   

 

On the down-side to down-sizing, I am not likely to find the house I need without moving WAAAAYYY out in the country.  Although this house is located inside city limits (barely), it backs up to 16 acres of pasture and forest that abuts another 500 acres of pasture and forest before crossing a road for another 2900 acres of pasture and forest (mostly in family trusts).  Needless to say we have deer, raccoons, possums, red-tail hawks, barn owls, tree frogs, snakes, and other critters outside the door (and sometimes inside the door) and we kinda like it.   :xmas_rudolph:



#3 fahrquad

fahrquad

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 11:59 PM

On the down-side to down-sizing, I am not likely to find the house I need without moving WAAAAYYY out in the country.  Although this house is located inside city limits (barely), it backs up to 16 acres of pasture and forest that abuts another 500 acres of pasture and forest before crossing a road for another 2900 acres of pasture and forest (mostly in family trusts).  Needless to say we have deer, raccoons, possums, red-tail hawks, barn owls, tree frogs, snakes, and other critters outside the door (and sometimes inside the door) and we kinda like it.   :xmas_rudolph:

 

We do NOT like the gray squirrels that abound in this hardwood woodland, and fortunately the wife does not mind me shooting the bushy-tailed rat bastards.  The hawks, owls, raccoons, or possums take care of the clean-up.  I nailed one yesterday with my .177 pellet rifle and it was gone this morning.  The few dogs and cats around here are too slow to catch a squirrel and I doubt a cat could take one.  I would welcome a bobcat or fox to help with the rodent population, but they have a bad habit of eating pets and small livestock.