Schedule F

I spent several hours on the taxes this morning. I downloaded most of my trade confirmations and checked my data-entry. But I found a possible error in TurboTax in the way they calculate (actually, in the way they DON'T calculate) gains on the sale of collectibles. Not that I have any secret stash of Hummel figures or anything, but I was actively trading the GLD etf, and each share represents a physical amount of gold, and the IRS considers gold a "collectible". It doesn't make logical sense, it's just another bit of tax code stupidity that we citizens have to deal with. I really think this country would be better off with a consumption tax instead of an income tax. It would encourage savings, which is what is needed to reduce our reliance on the rest of the world buying our national debt. But I digress.

I also got T's farming records, and filled out a "Schedule F" for the first time. Schedule F, for those non-tax-accountants out there, is for farm income. Or in our case, farm losses. We didn't have any income in 2009, but T had expenses since he planted some crops to over-winter, plus he built the garden fence.

I still have a little work to do double-checking my record-keeping with regard to all the wash sales I had in '09. It's very complicated. It makes the calculations to determine the amount of our Roth IRA conversion seem laughingly simple (which it's not, really, since we routinely make non-deductible contributions to our IRAs, and when the Roth conversion happens you have to pay taxes on the amount proportionally, you can't just elect to move only your post-tax contributions).

So I've still got to finish capital gains, and fill out the "sale of your home" form, then income items will be done. Then it's on to deductions. Although the deductions that need the most amount of work are related to the sale of the condo, so that form will be a nuisance. But at least the Federal form is straightforward (I think, I haven't read the fine print yet). The New Jersey method of taxing gains on the sale of your home is convoluted, if you didn't buy a replacement home in NJ. They "get you" when you leave the state.

I can't wait until our taxes are simple. I suppose there will always be a certain amount of capital gains recordkeeping while I'm actively trading, but the brokerage does a pretty good job of keeping all the documents organized for you. The farm income is easy at our scale. Plus for 2010, I'm down to ONE state return. Yay! So hopefully, 2009 will be my last long hard slog through a return. Three returns, if you count states. Halfway done.