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A Taxing Thursday

February 18th, 2021 at 11:10 pm

The good news is, I filed both my federal and state tax returns today.

The bad news is, I won't be getting that $2200 federal refund as I thought, simply because there was a single figure I failed to carry down to another line (regular taxes owed), so I mistakenly initially calculated only my self-employment taxes! Unfortunately, not carrying over that one figure meant I had to redo much of my return as it related to my self-employment, so it took a good part of today to fix. I did also notice at the last minute that I'd forgotten to claim my Foreign Taxes Paid, so I was able to do that.

The bottom line is, my federal refund will be just $337, while I owe the state $486.

Filing my federal taxes is always kind of wonky. Although I qualify to use free tax software, I prefer to do it myself, using only the free fillable forms provided on the IRS website. 

As I've learned in past years, if you have a zero on a line that should have just been left blank , they'll reject your return without providing a clear explantion, leaving you to figure it out. This time, it was rejected because I put  0 on a line for alimony received; this year they have an "error tool" that's supposed to make figuring out the error easy, but naturally, it was not working. Luckily their error code contained the words "alimony" and "divorce," and since I am neither, I remembered those lines on p 2 of the 1040 form, took away the 0, refiled and hoped for the best. It worked, and the return was accepted.

I really need to now revisit both returns and try to calculate, in very rough terms, what my quarterly estimated payments should be, and this should be easy since I now earn a fixed weekly amount that does not vary. Trying to navigate the federal form is just ridiculously complicated, at least for me. I'd rather ballpark it, even if it means overpaying a bit. I really wasn't off by much for 2020, although I only had one quarter of self-employment. State-wise, I didn't make any estimated payments, and though I owe no interest penalty on my underpayment, that likely wont be the case after a full year of self-employment in 2021

It's been snowing all day, and by the time it ends tomorrow, we'll wind up with a mangeable 6-8 inches.

3 Responses to “A Taxing Thursday”

  1. Petunia 100 Says:

    Patient Saver! So nice to see a post from you. Smile

  2. Dido Says:

    Estimated payments: as a start, take your 2020 Total Tax. Since your AGI is less than $150,000, if you get 100% of your 2020 estimated tax into the system in quarterly payments, you will avoid a penalty. (There are two safe harbors, prior year and current year, and prior year is safer because it is based on a known figure while current year is an estimate). Just pay it quarterly because tax is owed on an "as you go" basis and if you left it all until next January, you could get penalized even if you met the safe harbor because you didn't have it into the system when due. CT state tax is also based on 100% of prior year total tax divided by four for the quarterly estimates.

  3. rob62521 Says:

    Taxing indeed. Glad you figured out what you needed to do so it would be accepted. Good to hear from you!

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