Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Tax Mom

I knew I got totally screwed last year. I accidentally faxed Shana's 2008 W-2s to our CPA with all of our business and personal stuff. We've been using her for years. I like her a lot, but when I got the bill - $250! - I thought, no way! For Shana? For just her measly teen-ager income? She's on the books as an official employee at our office, filing and vacuuming her way to a little allowance and IRA head start and she also had a couple of other jobs - hostess at Nothing But Noodles (until one day she showed up for work and the place was padlocked) and as a child care guru at The Village Health Club. But this year, I did a little research. Does she even need to file? Yes, now that's she's over 18 and had some withholdings. She had different jobs last year, 2009, still the same old W-2 from the family business plus toy shoppe extraordinaire at Mildred and Dildred and a file clerk at a Tucson law firm. I found Turbo Tax. Free, free, free, it said but go deeper and the small print was $14.95 for both federal and state for a filing like Shana's. Fine, beats $250. Shana and I gathered her stuff, filled out the a monkey could do this form and hit send. More fine print. Suddenly it's $27.95. Fine, fine, fine. At least we're done. Shana looked at the return and moaned. "Mom, I don't get a refund?" "Well," I said, "look at the other side, nothing due (aways my personal favorite part)!" Then I saw the little Turbo Tax smiley face guy dancing around, singing - that's good tax planning! Yep - see you next year, Turbo Man.

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