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never forget there’s life after death and taxes

Every year that I can remember, I’ve filed my taxes the first week of March. Because why wouldn’t you want a fat refund as soon as possible?

This year, though, well, this year is the first year that I am filing as a self-employed person. A self-employed person who tells the truth—and nothing but the truth so help me God—on her taxes.

The problem with telling the truth on one’s taxes when one is a self-employed person is that one has not paid any taxes all year (if one is me)(one who is not me might be wiser). Taxes are expensive. Yowza.

So, when I went to file our taxes at the beginning of March as I usually do, I saw the amount payable and promptly dumped all our tax info in our black hole of a bedroom never to be seen or heard from again.

Until this morning.

April 30th is the tax deadline in Canada, and I am much too lazy to see if it is also the deadline anywhere else. April 30th is also the day we woke up to this:

this morning

Summer was here on Saturday. And now winter is back, and here to stay. Let’s just assume I wasn’t so chipper this morning. Not that I’m chipper any morning, but is spring after seven months of winter too much to ask?!

So this morning I took the two younger kids to Walmart to find the H&R Block booth to get our taxes done. We waited a bazillion years and finally got in. The guy started things up and when he got to my income and learned I was self-employed, well, he couldn’t do my taxes. Because maybe there should have been a sign about this sort of thing so I would not have had to wait with two little kids and I would not have had to cancel their appointments I’d booked for later that morning because I suck at planning ahead and budgeting my time?!

Oh! And this after I’d tried to get Noah to print the last couple receipts I needed, but his computer hated my external hard drive and the library wasn’t open for another hour and so we’d dropped in on my mother-in-law to finally get things printed. Not that the kids minded, they love visiting Miss Sue at work.

ANYWAY.

So I texted my father-in-law to see if he would like an interruption to his quiet day off so I could use his computer at his place because remember how Preston baptized mine?

Russ was all good with it but then suggested he could drop his laptop off with me if that worked better. It totally did, because Preston naps much better in his own bed and a napping toddler is much better for the whole tax-doing thing.

Three hours later I’d used every deduction I could come up with and still owed a bajillion dollars. I decided that waiting in line AGAIN at a tax place was a necessity. Apparently this whole self-employed thing is too complicated for me, because I just don’t see how I can make half what Noah does and have to pay three times the taxes.

We had booked my in-laws to have the kids for the afternoon/early evening anyway, so we canceled the appointment we had (we suck at making it to appointments, apparently) and instead went to sit at an H&R Block branch, this time one that knew what it was doing.

The first thing I did when we sat down at the dude’s desk, though, was make sure he could do small business taxes. He could. Or so I assumed before I started helping him with stuff and began to regret my decision to hire a “professional”.

Noah was even live-tweeting the event, nervous that I was going to strangle the guy.

But, this guy totally proved himself more than capable because he saved me about three grand and I nearly hugged him. I nearly threw up, though, when he handed us the bill, but it was totally worth every penny. And we paid him a crap-ton of pennies.

Two-and-a-half hours later we went to pick up the kids, who had already been fed dinner. There was even enough for us to have some, which was great, as I had not exactly planned what to feed the five of us.

The moral of the story? Be ye not so stupid as to wait till the last possible minute to file your taxes. And for heaven’s sake, find someone who knows what he’s doing if you find yourself completely incompetent and ready to sell your left kidney to be able to afford to pay the government.

*title credit: Relient K

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  • jennifer glen Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 10:17 pm

    If it makes you feel any better, our snow was like 3 cm deeper and got whipped in your face as you walked to the car by the stinging wind. And we went for a lovely walk yesterday in the sunshine, right after the brief rain that made it smell all springy and I forgot to put the stroller away, and so that was the first sight that greeted me when I opened the door – a sad looking stroller that had looked so happy yesterday, covered in snow. It was so depressing William had a tantrum when I told him he couldn’t climb into the snow covered stroller and go for a ride. He’s sick of the snow too.

    • jen Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 4:32 am

      I don’t blame him! Poor guy!!

  • jessica Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 1:08 am

    Oh man. I quickly learned that self employment means an experienced tax guy / accountant superhero is 125% necessary. We were so overwhelmed in the early years running our fabric store… talk about a tax nightmare. DIY Turbo Tax software was like, “you owe fifty frillion dollars!” and we were like, picking out cardboard boxes to live in. But thankfully we found our sooper smart accountant, and he was like, “check out your return!” YAY.

    • jen Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 4:31 am

      TurboTax was totally what I used! Will never do that again, haha!!! Oh man. The guy said to us, as we were leaving, “I hope I see you next year!” and I was like, HECK YES YOU WILL. I may have told him he was my hero.

  • Angella Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 8:06 am

    If I were closer, I would have helped. Us accountants don’t care much for H&R Block, because many clients come to us after they’ve had taxes messed up by H&R, but it sounds as though you found a good guy.

    :)

    • jen Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 9:06 am

      For real? Yikes. I do wish you lived closer! And not just so you could help me with my taxes. :)

      I did have to tell him to lump all the different types of income as the same “business”, as you suggested. Sheeh.

      With what it cost us, I’m pretty sure I’ll hire a real professional next year. Goodness that was pricey.

  • Daryl Grunau Thursday, May 2, 2013, 10:34 am

    Check out Mennonite Trust right around the corner from the church next time. My brother in law is the Vice Pres at their head office in Waldheim. I’m sure they’d be happy to help next time around, especially when you tell them you attend Cornerstone.
    My dad does are taxes and I’m so grateful. Someday I’ll be in big trouble when he stops doing them.
    So glad you got it all figured out though.

    • jen Monday, May 6, 2013, 11:37 am

      I used to do our taxes. Till I became self-employed.

  • Kimberly Monday, May 6, 2013, 11:20 am

    Dude, I have to be so on top of this early because I work in the US. I have to pay TWO taxes!! So my US one has to be completed before my Canadian one can even be processed. It’s such a pain.
    I hope that you’re doing something fun with that money…like a new snow plow sounds exciting…no?

  • jen Monday, May 6, 2013, 11:37 am

    Ha!! No, no fun money, unfortunately. We don’t *get* the three grand, he just *saved* us that amount.