I’m not dead. I’m doing taxes.

Pretty much the same thing, right?

I have news, I have course announcements, and I have other things—but those all have to wait until the tax stuff is done.

I’ll try to post all the good stuff here on February 1st.

Until then, I’m singing

Eleven months out of the year
It’s fun to be self-employed
And when I am done with my taxes
I’m going to be overjoyed.

Give back,
Give back,
Give back my money to me-e-e,
Give back,
Give back,
Oh, give back my money to me.

Sung to the tune “My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean…”

Feh. I’ll see you February 1st. Before then, if I (hah!) get done early. But this is like shovelling out the Agean stables, so don’t hold your breath.

Feel free to add extra verses to my song. Misery shared may not be halved, but at least we can get a laugh out of it.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

24 comments… add one
  • Jeanette Jan 18, 2011 @ 15:05

    Danzier, I am impressed by your organization. And someday when I am a paid author filing self-employment taxes, I will do the spreadsheet thing (and the numbering receipts and copying, too). I use the speadsheet method already for keeping track of scenes in my manuscripts (I have the habit of writing out of sequence and pay heavily for it later in the sewing phase–less now with spreadsheets.)

    Anyway…500 words today not including my lengthy post.

  • Danzier Jan 17, 2011 @ 20:22

    I had forgotten the nightmare that is FICA and unemployment compensation (employer end) and quarterly green forms. But I haven’t forgotten the nightmare of large boxes of reciepts. I was a secretary for a tiny company for a year, and the president was several years behind on his taxes. He kept nine years of reciepts in a giant box all mixed together like a headache stew. I spent the year filing back taxes and listening to classical music on the IRS’s hold button.

    If ANYONE out there is keeping boxes of reciepts, let me make a couple of suggestions to save your sanity. 1) When you have a reciept you think you should keep, put a number on it. 2)Type the info from the reciept into a spreadsheet. Using the same line as the number on it helps. Print the spreadsheet out often. 3) Photocopy the reciept. Somewhere between three and five years from now, the original will be entirely illegible, and thus useless for tax purposes. A photocopy of the numbered reciept can help a lot.

    And if you have back taxes that might give you a refund, file them. I think the refunds have a 4-year statute of limitations after which the government just refuses to give you your money and then your boss yells a lot.

    • Danzier Jan 17, 2011 @ 20:26

      P.S. 432 words on SP, all of them out of left field and fixing a plot hole.

    • Helenee Jan 17, 2011 @ 20:41

      Please, excuse my editing — it’s receipt, not reciept. 🙂

      • Danzier Jan 18, 2011 @ 12:21

        Ack! Thank you! :O

  • Helenee Jan 17, 2011 @ 19:38

    In Greece we do the taxes in March-April.
    Have you heard about the huge recess over there? (Ha!)
    Have you heard about the P.I.G.S.? We are G.
    We’re Northern Mediterranean Sea, on the shore opposite to Africa.
    Near Middle East.

    I’m not making a political statement here.
    I just want to check if a couple of phrases can make a certain impression/sensation.
    Well, can they?
    Just playing around with words Not on the right post perhaps, but then who is to dictate the Muse? 🙂

    Are the headaches getting any better, Holly?
    Wishing for you.
    I always look for your mail in my inbox.

  • sallie dragon Jan 15, 2011 @ 23:16

    Thank you for reminding me. Contest ends tonight. really should submit the story i wrote a week ago … ack!

  • Mikaela Jan 14, 2011 @ 8:16

    My taxes are easy. I just read through, and sign the papers. Once I start publishing, that will change. I realised a couple of days ago that I will have to deal with the Swedish IRS AND the US IRS. I get a migraine just thinking about it *whimpers*

    Good luck, Holly!

    • Holly Lisle Jan 17, 2011 @ 16:35

      If you’re Swedish and operating in Sweden, you shouldn’t have to deal with the US IRS. Of course, if you’re American LIVING in Sweden, you do. We’re the only country in the world that makes you pay taxes in the US if you’re living in another country, even though you’ll have to pay taxes there, too.

  • Shawna Jan 14, 2011 @ 4:35

    I do mine, and my guy’s, and usually volunteer to do a few for other people – those who have easy ones, that is.

    Was thinking this was going to be a simple year, since the guy is working just one job now. I’d forgotten that the layoff, the unemployment, and the 3-4 part-time jobs were ALSO all this year. When I remembered a couple days ago, I resigned myself to waiting all month for paperwork for his, and was glad that mine would still be simple.

    And the day his first W-2 came in the mail, so did my not-so-nice surprise. Rearranging student loans means I have to wait for all those little buggers, too.

    So now the plan is 1) dump them all in the tax bin, and 2) wait til Feb. 1st and figure out which ones are still no-shows.

    Sigh.

  • PolarBear Jan 13, 2011 @ 21:12

    Oh, yeah. Gonna be fun this year. I finally don’t make too much to convert my traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, but that means there are tax implications. In a one-time deal, IRS is letting people who convert spread the tax resulting from the conversion over two tax years. We haven’t done the math yet, but I suspect we’re going to want that leeway.

    Wish we could have done that in 2008 when my retirement funds took that massive hit, but I’ll take it when I can get it.

  • Julian Adorney Jan 13, 2011 @ 14:18

    I’m in the same boat tax-wise. But I try to make it fun. I earned so little last year, and lost so much in taxes, that I’m expecting a HUGE refund. So I figure out how much I’ll get back, divide it by the hours I’m spending on mind-numbing tax work, and suddenly I’m making about $30/hr!

    The fact that the money I’m ‘making’ is money that should never have been taken from me in the first place is a fact I try to block out 🙂

  • Rick Jan 13, 2011 @ 13:45

    I just filed! My total refund, federal and state combined, is… $7. That’s right, a whopping $7.

    God love the IRS. (Somebody’s got to.)

    • Holly Lisle Jan 17, 2011 @ 16:30

      Refund? What means this alien word refund?

      If you’re self-employed, you pay. Period. And you pay more than if you had an employer. You pay quarterly estimated taxes, you pay double FICA because you’re self-employed and don’t have an employer, and if you had a good year, you pay extra at the end to cover everything the stuff that came out before didn’t cover. Tax time for me is usually a case of “How much more do I owe?”

      You know that old saying, “What you want more of, you fund, and what you want less of, you tax?”

      The government funds welfare, and taxes the hell out of working people. So tell me, what does it want more of?

      • Danzier Jan 17, 2011 @ 20:08

        A brainless zombie army under its complete control?

  • klharrds Jan 13, 2011 @ 10:17

    Good luck Holly.

    As a PAYE bod, Ihankfully, I dont have to worry about a Tax Return. I just have to remember to tiptoe around my dad when he is doing his!

    I hope this isnt creating more migraines for you to deal with.

  • Cat (from HtTS) Jan 13, 2011 @ 3:47

    I’m probably genetically defective because I love doing my taxes. 😉 Of course, there is a really good book about doing it right out here in Germany, and I never need more than one day to finish. And in the last ten year I’ve always managed to get us a tax return. I could say, that the time I spent on the tax papers (pc-program) was much better payed than any of my books and stories that have been published.

    • Holly Lisle Jan 17, 2011 @ 16:24

      The US tax system has a staggering number of pages. There are no good books on doing taxes, especially if you are, as I am, self-employed and paying other people.

      I have an accountant. It takes me a minimum of three weeks just to get the necessary documentation together and organized into useable form and marked up for him so that he can do my taxes. The box I use to put all the stuff in is roughly 23″x16″x13″ inches—one thing ground home to me by 10 years as a working RN is document everything. So I do. All year. If I buy a box of pencils, I have the receipt.

      The resulting pile of paper is prodigious.

      And because we have to save our returns for seven years, I have a STACK of these enormous, paper-filled boxes. I loathe this time of year. I could be working on something cool. Instead, I’m doing paperwork for the government.

      • Nicki Savantes Jan 18, 2011 @ 15:22

        OMG what a nightmare!
        I’m happy to say I’m only familiar with belgian & french tax forms and none have ever taken more than an afternoon to complete. I was self employed at one time and with the help of my accountant and quarterly pre-payments those taxes were also done within one day.
        So I’m not envying you, but wishing you a speedy work through (why don’t we have tax muses???)

  • Danzier Jan 12, 2011 @ 23:59

    Oh, last year I worked for the paper;
    They never sent W-2s.
    When I explained to the taxman,
    He laughed and said, “Sucks to be you!”
    ~~~~~~~~~
    So they should have sent 1099Gs or something; IRS forms are disturbingly similar to Vogon anything forms (yeah, yeah, a “Hitchhiker” quote. I couldn’t think of anything worse, though!). Point is, the paper didn’t send a thing despite legal requirements to have the necessary paperwork postmarked by Jan. 31. This year I called the check issuer and got an emailed statement of money paid, which should work just as well. I may be lucky enough to get a tax return this year.

    On a different note… The search function doesn’t seem to be working right. I got some grey boxes with the word “for” in them as a result of my search.

    Oh…and no words. But 10 hours for workshop today; it’s something at least.

    • Holly Lisle Jan 17, 2011 @ 16:16

      IRS=Vogons. Disturbingly similar.

      I’ll check on the Search issue as soon as I can. It was working for me the last time I used it—but that doesn’t mean much, unfortunately.

  • Sari Webb Jan 12, 2011 @ 20:39

    Good luck Holly!

    I hope it all gets done and dusted and then you can take a breather.

    My dad runs a company and has to do GST at the end of every month. He hates it. Says it’s the worst time of the month.

    Now time for some words.

  • Dawn Jan 12, 2011 @ 17:02

    Oh dear… thanks for the reminder. Good luck not drowning in yours.

  • Craig Jan 12, 2011 @ 16:50

    Glad to hear you are only dealing with ONE of the two things in life that are certain…

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