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Financially Frustrated on a Friday.

January 29, 2010

I have started making attempts to do my taxes. And it’s giving me a headache. Literally. I started my taxes tonight and when I was done, I had a headache.

My taxes are complicated because not only did I move states this year, I also worked in two states for the same job while being a resident in one state (I moved from New Jersey to New York, but remained working at the same PR agency, but in both the NJ and NY offices, instead of just the NJ office which I previously worked at full-time). Confused yet? Good. Me too.

My advice? DON’T DO THAT. It really sucks. I can’t even be eloquent about it. That’s how badly it sucks.

So I am going to take a break from worrying about taxes for now. I don’t even have all my forms in yet (the little ones, like interest from ING Direct). I will probably end up doing it by hand because TurboTax and HR Block can’t seem to understand my predicament, so I am going to do it myself. I actually had my dad do it on the phone with me tonight, and so far, his answer is the best answer (the one with me owing the least – I freelance, and tend to underpay, so I usually owe). But TurboTax? Wants me to pay $2200! And don’t even get me started about a couple of the others. It’s ridiculous. Do you think the federal government would mind if I just, you know, skipped doing my taxes this year? Just one year? It’s so confusing. They would understand, wouldn’t they?

If anyone wants to do my taxes for me and promises not to steal my identity… wait. I’m asking the Internet. Nevermind.

But seriously folks, don’t work in two states at the same time. And don’t move either. Pick a state that you like and just… stay.

Gah!

TGIF, right?

14 Comments
  1. tmana permalink
    January 29, 2010 11:10 AM

    BTDT, except for the freelancing (that’s new to me this year). It involves a 1040 (not the EZ, but sometimes the A is sufficient) and state tax forms for all states involved. Some states have separate forms for residents and non-residents, so there may be two sets of forms for the state in question (it’s a while since I’ve done NY non-resident, so I don’t recall all of the details). Usually there is a calculation of exemption based on how many days of the year you were resident in that state.

    Best piece of advice here is do not go to the state office that says it will help you do your taxes. These folk have been trained by the state to milk every last cent of possible tax out of you. (I learned that lesson in Massachusetts, all too many years ago.)

    Second-best piece of advice is to read the instructions that come along with the forms (you can download them separately). Third-best piece of advice is, if you have a legal-services contract, such as Pre-Paid Legal provides, use your consultation benefit to speak with a tax lawyer.

    • January 29, 2010 11:46 AM

      Well, I had been using tax programs, but those don’t seem adept at handling my situation, so yes, I plan on getting all the forms and doing it myself. NY state is complicated in and of itself, so we’ll see how I pan out. I am looking forward to having these done!

      • stew permalink
        February 5, 2010 12:35 PM

        use taxact.com

        • February 5, 2010 12:36 PM

          I tried it. It told me I owed an even larger amount than TurboTax.

  2. January 29, 2010 12:44 PM

    you get the ingdirect info from the website. Just print it out and there ya go!

    • January 29, 2010 12:57 PM

      Yes, I know, but when I was doing my taxes earlier this week they hadn’t published it yet. I will go look now!

  3. January 29, 2010 2:26 PM

    One year, I had to file Federal, California, Delaware and Pennsylvania taxes, and then I moved again, and had to file Federal, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York state income taxes, and in those years, I decided it really was easier to simply let someone else prepare the returns for me.

    Although I can’t speak on your finances, but if I had to guess, given your age and the fact that you rent (rather than own) and have no children, that the standard deduction is going to be higher than it would be by itemizing in that case (unless you have a big trust fund income or something like that, in which case, your returns may be a more complex matter). If my suspicion is true, then it might simply be easier to pay a $50 fee and let H&R Block prepare them for you this year — all of the different state jurisdictions can otherwise be a time-consuming hassle that’s better left up to a firm that has software that can handle returns for multiple tax jurisdictions. The aggravation you save is probably worth the comparatively small cost.

    • January 29, 2010 2:34 PM

      Oh geez… THREE STATES? I’d die. Wow. I’m not sure about having H & R Block do it. My boyfriend says they are a rip-off, but I don’t know. I may try it myself and if I can’t get it to work. I only need to do it this one year. Next year I will only have one job (ignoring freelance) and one state again so it’ll be back to normal.

      And ha… trust fund income… I wish…

  4. January 29, 2010 5:18 PM

    Ugh, that sucks, this is my first year doing all contract/freelance work so I’m NOT looking forward to doing my taxes at all. Luckily my mom is a bookkeeper, though!

  5. January 31, 2010 3:23 PM

    I know what you are going thru! You might want to try Turbo Tax. I bought this years version and it worked out great. It tells you everything you can deduct as you go along. Good luck and I hope everything works out for the best.

    • January 31, 2010 4:57 PM

      I did try TurboTax – that’s the program that says I owe $2200. Of course, I only used the online program so I’m not sure if there’s a difference, but it did not work for my situation this year.

  6. January 31, 2010 8:29 PM

    One year, I was a resident of North Dakota, worked in North Dakota, Minnesota, and Colorado. The place i worked in MN had reciprocity, so I paid ND taxes, but I still have to file forms to get exempt from MN taxes. It was such a headache and I was like 20 so it was all very confusing for me. But I kind of liked it, so I almost thought maybe I shoudl be an accountant..

    Good luck… I need to do my taxes soon so I cna get the lovely tax refund I am expecting!!

  7. January 31, 2010 11:03 PM

    Best yet, pick a state without income tax (Texas)

  8. January 31, 2010 11:04 PM

    As for doing your taxes — I do use Turbo Tax, then run by the IRS office a few blocks down the road. They don’t guarantee it, but I do feel better if they look over them.

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