Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Monday, April 04, 2005


Sorry about the delay--I got busy on wasting time on the new site trying to make it look like this one (for some unknown reason related to obsessive-compulsive blogging disorder), and then I got all messed up and had to redo a bunch of stuff, and THEN there was WORK! AGAIN! The nerve of some people.

ANYWAY, as noted previously, this was a weekend spent doing several onerous tasks, the primary one being taxes. Up bright and early Saturday, sat down at the dining room table with all my junk and got busy. This year seemed to go a bit smoother than last, and I’m not quite sure why, because we had more stuff to figure out. I had intended earlier, if you recall, to get some of that spiffy tax software to help out, but I guess I’ll do that next year. Maybe.

The only glitch was that when I got ready to do my state return, I couldn’t find the forms. I don’t know whether I mislaid it and it got covered up with kid junk, or if it got stolen from the mailbox by an identity thief. The state has a very bad habit of printing both spouse’s Social Security numbers on the mailing label, and it’s out there for anyone who wants it. Doofuses.

So, I got through with the Feds, (and a tidy refund this year--I think $40,000,000, but I might be off a bit) and then went to the library to pick up a state booklet. (I also hopped on the computers for a minute to see if there was any e-mail that Chet had neglected to tell me about.) Back toward home again, and decided to make a quick pit stop at the AutoZone at the foot of the hill. I had decided to take Moby with me to the library for his monthly exercise, and when I got in, the combined effect of being outside in the weather and a host of icky stuff that I haven’t been able to clean out of the carpet, and just the general smell of machinery and old car had conspired to give the ol’ box the smell of a barrel full of burnt clutches. I drove over and back with the windows down hoping to get rid of the smell, but that can only do so much. So, some deodorant.

Blech. Nothing smells any good--all the coconut vanilla pine berry rain leather orange fresh Passion garbage just smells horrible. And that “new car” junk--no matter WHO it’s made by--does NOT smell like a new car. Unless all new cars are now made in a Tijuana cathouse.

I got two.

Home, and to work again on the state returns. Where I found out that politicians are not nice people. At least ours.

There is a spot on the deduction schedule sheet that allows you to deduct other taxes you’ve paid--mainly stuff like car tags, and I THOUGHT local occupational taxes. Both Birmingham and Jefferson County make you pay to work here, and the tab comes to a sizeable chunk. But this year, after I had gone through and done everything, I noticed that these occupational taxes were now supposed to be put in with other unreimbursed employee expenses. WHAT!? Surely not--those expenses have a 7.5% of adjusted gross income threshold. Of course, the total isn't quite 7.5%, and of course, I couldn’t deduct them. This bothered me, especially after I went looking in the booklet to see if this was a new change for this year. Nope. Not listed anywhere as a change, which can only mean…EEK! I might have done it wrong LAST YEAR!

I went back and looked at the instructions for last year, and sure enough, they CHANGED IT THIS YEAR WITHOUT TELLING ANYONE! Jerks. It cost me thirty extra bucks not to be able to deduct it. Pretty sneaking and conniving, but I’m not surprised. The amount they get from people who are able to make the deduction is probably miniscule, but to those of us who wind up having to fork over more dough in order for them to sit around and debate the merits of the queen honeybee versus the monarch butterfly, well, it’s rather galling.

It’s a shame tarring and feathering has gone out of style.

UPDATE! 3:30 p.m. Regular reader Stan the Government Man just sent me a link to a January 25, 2005 State Department of Revenue news release (.pdf file) that says I might be in luck!

Montgomery—The Alabama Department of Revenue issued an immediate
taxpayer advisory today urging Alabama taxpayers who were mailed an Alabama Form 40 (Long Return) or a Form 40 NR (Non-resident Return) Tax Booklet and who have city and county occupational license taxes withheld from their wages or salaries to note errors contained in the booklets’ instructions directing those specific taxpayers to claim the local occupational taxes reported on their W-2s as miscellaneous tax deductions on the Schedule A. This direction is incorrect. Alabama law allows the occupational license tax to be claimed as a full tax deduction and as such, should be claimed on the Schedule A, under the section entitled “Taxes you paid.” The instructions for both the Form 40 and the Form 40 NR advise taxpayers who have city and county occupational taxes withheld from their wages or salaries and reported on their Form W-2s to report the amount on Schedule A, Line 19 or Line 24, respectively. This is incorrect. Taxpayers should report the amount of city or county occupational taxes withheld from their Alabama wages or salaries on Schedule A, Line 8, regardless of which return they are filing. […]

I say it means I might be in luck, because although I haven't mailed in the forms, to fix it would require me to go through and redo EVERYTHING. Again.

I'm thinking a bucket of tar and a pillow would be much less expensive. As well as much more satisfying. I suppose I'll redo it, just on the principle of the thing.

AND NOW, back to the drivel.

In amongst all the tax stuff, I also decided to get around to doing the other government-mandated interference in my life--changing the clocks forward. Going ahead and setting them forward early in the day makes it a bit easier to get used to the new time. Kinda. The clock count was up this year due to each of the kids having a timepiece--by my count, there were 14 to be fidgeted with.

And yet, we are still late all the time.

NEXT--Other stuff!

Comments: Post a Comment

al.com - Alabama Weblogs

free hit counter
Visits since 12/20/2001--
so what if they're mostly me!

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't
Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com