Jan
09
2009

  Six Hours Wasn't So Bad

It took me six hours, but I came up with some reasonable numbers for the fourth quarter estimated payments. I just don't have all the information yet to make a perfect calculation, since I don't have any 1099 or W-2 forms yet, but I entered enough information to get a pretty good idea. I'll have to write checks to the Feds and VA, but not to NY or NJ.

I think I may have left off the interest from a few bank accounts I forgot about, so I'll either enter that in tomorrow, or just forget about it for now. The payments are called "estimated" for a reason. The feds will give you a 10% margin of error before they hit you with underpayment penalties. I don't know what the exact rules are in VA.

What am I thinking? Of course I'm not going to enter in the extra numbers tomorrow. I'm 95% confident my current estimates will be good enough. I'm going to fill out the ES forms tomorrow and go to the post office, then I'm going to forget about the taxes until the beginning of February.

Once I've received all the tax forms in the mail, I'll start up again. It won't be too bad, I entered all the securities trades into Schedule D already, and most of the interest income, so it will mainly be a matter of checking my entries against the official documents. I'll need to find receipts to calculate the itemized deductions properly, I didn't even attempt to record all the charitable contributions tonight, and I guessed at the property taxes, etc. And figuring out all the state taxes paid or refunded in 2008 will be a bit of a headache, since I filed all those amended returns, and since our itemized deductions are usually limited I have to do worksheets to figure out what portion of the refunds will be taxable, if any. I think we only got two refunds, though, the rest were balances due (which are easy to account for). I don't remember exactly.

The state taxes are going to be a nuisance (NY/NJ always is), but not nearly as bad as in the past, since we didn't own any S Corp shares in 2008. I've just got to do all those taxes-paid-to-other-states worksheets to get credit for the taxes paid to NY.

Six hours down, I estimate I've got about 20 hours to go for Federal. Maybe a little less. It depends on how long it takes me to find all the charitable contribution receipts and tax payment / refund records. I guess I could work on all that before I get the income documents in the mail. Hmm. I'll reevaluate next week. For this week, I'm done!