Kelly In Catty

This blog is Kell's attempt to keep in touch with friends far away who complain that I don't e-mail nearly enough.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Are You Sitting Down?

I have a short, funny story to tell you about my taxes. First, you have to know that for 8 months of 2004, I was primarily a freelancer. Second, I'm a lousy recordkeeper. So understand how grateful I am that my friend Alan offers to do my taxes every year. I'm not exactly sure why - although I think my life, cash flow, and work I do somehow amuses him. He's a full time dad and part-time accountant, so our lives are very, very different.

I was careful in ONE aspect of money this year. I have a large box that I filled with every receipt from last year. It was a good thing to do - they came in handy when I needed to argue my cause with EZ Pass when they had a dispute with me regarding what they thought was an illegal drive-through an EZ Pass lane (What happened, if you choose to believe me, was that the ticket machine wasn't working. I turned around to get an actual ticket - and wound up driving through the EZ Pass lane instead of through a teller lane, where I could explain what happened... Not that you needed to know any of this, but those receipts saved me 50$.)

So before I left for Florida, I spent six hours collating my '04 receipts into one neat, easy-to-read spread sheet. "Alan will be so proud of my newly found computer skills..." I thought. Last year, he commented that where he's seen WORSE organization, I could have been better prepared. On April 14, I dropped my folder off at his office.

Three hours later, he called. "Are you sitting down?" "Why?" I asked, "Is it bad?" "Yeah," he answered. The suspense was killing me, although I couldn't think of how bad it could be - I spent enough money on equipment, running around, and such that I should have, in my mind, warranted a low payment, if not a tiny, tiny refund.

"Three Grand." Said Alan "Is there any mileage you missed? How 'bout your cellphone bill?"

Somehow I didn't panic. I just answered his questions, and made a mental note of how much additional freelance work I'd have to do to pay for this... I just raised freelance rates, so maybe it wouldn't be too bad... Nonetheless, the mind does reel.

To end the freelance tedium I was stuck in (one can only photograph so many weddings...), I took a job in September. I had a W2 for that job. I had listed it with all my other W2's and receivables. Alan noted that due to the amount of money I made, I had done well for a first-year freelancer. "What?" I asked. I didn't make all that money as a freelancer. Some of that was from my job...

Then, like a bright sunrise after a 4 month Arctic night, Alan realized he had added my work W2 twice - once as income I have already paid taxes on, once as freelance... "Ah. Kelly, I'll call you back."

Fifteen minutes later, he called back, telling me I could stand up again. If you can believe it, I got a refund - Granted, it's not a huge refund, but I'll take it.

sigh.

2 Comments:

  • At 5:28 PM, Blogger jdain said…

    Hooray for refunds!!!

     
  • At 11:52 AM, Blogger Trixie said…

    Sunrise ! Lots of smiles !

    Now back to the grindstone girlie ..

     

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