tax time: the agony and the ecstasy.

9 03 2011

once upon a time, online tax software was not readily available, nor was being online. in my tiny cockroach infested first apartment, i could barely afford to eat- let alone pay for a dial up internet connection (which back in ’99 was all a single girl could dream to afford).

well, when my mom pushed me out of the nest after college, doing my own taxes was part of the deal. but not having preparation software, or even the luxury of being able to google how to do taxes, i was essentially BONED. i had to go to the LIBRARY and pick up paper forms and instruction booklets.

i distinctly remember having a panic attack over my futon full of forms and manuals. gross adjusted what? but i pushed through, did what i thought was probably right (cried on the phone to my mom for an hour or so), and got myself a refund of $500. well, actually $250 after the IRS corrected my copious errors. but it did it! by myself!

after the trauma of paper taxes, the next year i found myself a friend with internet access and vowed to e-file, no matter what the cost. as it turned out, being single renter who had yet to start paying off her student loans (now a distant utopian memory), and was making roughly $20,000 a year (less utopian), was actually an ideal situation. i could file the 1040EZ, and that meant that there were numerous free filing options for broke jerks like me (and there still are).

i chose turbotax, and it was best arbitrary decision i ever made. Read the rest of this entry »