I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog Bio There are a few bright spots during tax season

My birthday is in January. That used to make January a special month for me. My mom always made birthdays special, so it is no wonder I anticipated the first month of the year. Then I grew up. Oh, I still enjoy celebrating my birthday, but much has changed.

As an author, January is the time I need to do a book inventory and fill out the state form itemizing how many books I withdrew from my inventory for gifts, promotions, or discards. I need to figure out how much sales tax I owe from books I sold personally–as opposed to those sold through brick and mortar and online bookstores.

As soon as the new year begins, I gather my information and start putting everything together because documentation is due mid-month. Much of the information will also be used to complete our regular federal and state taxes. Though I can gather much information online, I do need to wait for tax documents on my book royalties and revenues.

Because I don’t trust my math, I usually recheck my figures several times. It is always a relief when I finish and send in the sales tax documentation. After a deep breath, I start going through the saved receipts I will need for completing federal and state taxes. Each month as we donate to charities, I print out a receipt. At the end of the year, I gather those monthly statements to calculate how much we gave to the different charities.

Usually, these monthly receipts are replaced by a single receipt, documenting what we spent the whole year. At that point, I shred the monthly receipts. (Keith isn’t happy how many times he has to empty the shredder during January.)

Over the years, I created a tax template that I fill in each year. As I receive information, I add the information to the template. I also start a file for documents I need to keep for tax purposes. Other papers get shredded. I’ve looked toward the end of January because I understood all business and government entities had to send out their tax documentation by the end of the month.

Only February came and we still had not received some needed documentation. When I mentioned to our financial advisor we hadn’t received some of our investment documents, I learned things have changed. Now, these entities have until mid-February to send out that documentation. Sigh!

As frustrating as doing taxes can be, I look back and realize I finally have all my information. Another week or so, I hope, I’ll be able to hand this off to my daughter who takes my information and actually does the taxes. Then I can breathe again.

But, you know, I can handle tax frustrations in January when I think not only about my birthday but the birthdays of loved ones I care about, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, niece, Most of all I look forward to January when we celebrate the birthdays of two very special persons–our granddaughters whose birthdays are thirteen years and one day apart. Makes tax frustrations almost worthwhile.

Meanwhile, I will continue to carefully keep receipts until the tax season starts all over again–next January.

(c) 2022 Carolyn R Scheidies
Kearney Hub Column 2/22/2022
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