10 Steps to Filing Income Taxes

It’s April 15th. Are your taxes done? In celebration of the end of tax season, I’d like to offer a somewhat humorous look at what I went through to do my taxes this year. I might have exaggerated a little. But just a little. Ready? Here we go!

1. Gather up the necessary papers. Since I’m self-employed there are a lot of them. Usually I know exactly where they are. Unfortunately we moved this year, and my record keeping was a mess. I find most of them.

2. Sign up for Turbo Tax. Start the self-employment section. Realize that I don’t have the necessary paperwork. Skip to the W-2 section for my husband’s employment. Realize that he doesn’t have all his paperwork either. Give hubby a frantic phone call.

3. Hunt for more paperwork. It must be here somewhere. Find it in the bottom of my sock drawer. Rejoice.

4. Pour myself a strong cup of coffee. It was that or beer, and I don’t drink. Tempting, though. I’m going to need all the help I can get.

5. Take a short break to hang out on Twitter. 15 minutes. Tops.

6. Look at my watch. It’s been an hour. I guess I need to get off Twitter and start in on the taxes. Slog through the employment section. Realize I’m missing the paperwork for buying the house. Bang head on my computer a few times.

7. Find the disk with the files pertaining to the house. Except for one paper that I need from the company that holds our loan. Go to the bank website. Realize I forgot my password. Spend an hour trying to reset it.

8. Fill out the home ownership section of my taxes. Rejoice again as I see the amount owed for federal taxes turn into a fat refund.

9. Start in on state taxes. Cry as I realize I”m going to owe. A lot. I guess I should have paid estimated taxes to the state.

10. Double check my work and e-file. As usual, I wait for the federal refund before paying the state. Make a thousand promises to myself on how I will be more organized for next year.

Bonus step #11. Take an Advil for the headache I now have. Thank the Lord that we have money to pay our taxes, that my husband is gainfully employed, and that we live in a country that provides us with so many freedoms. Realize that doing my taxes isn’t that bad, when I consider how blessed we really are.

Doesn’t that make you want to prepare your own taxes? It’s not that hard!

Have you filed your taxes yet? Are you glad to have them done? Any headaches along the way?

Photo by Nathan.Kauffman.


By , on Apr 15, 2009
Lynnae McCoy I'm Lynnae, wife of one and stay-at-home mom of two. I'm committed to getting out of debt by being frugal with my choices in life.


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  1. step 1, gather paperwork. Step 2, drop off at accountants office. Step 3, write check(s).

    It’s worth it. ;)

  2. The only time taxes are fun is when you are getting money back! Other than that– they are a drag!

  3. Also did them back in February. Got a refund. Had to pay state. Sent off my check on Tuesday. Joy.

  4. Inky:

    I took the tylenol first :)

    Actually, I did them in February, but some confusion on my hubby’s new federal government job info caused a filing delay until LAST WEEK! way too stressful for me and not enough time to get our Fed Refund to pay the State, so I was glad to have an emergency fund this year that we did not have last year – which of course the Fed refund is already set to transfer back into the emergency fund!

  5. marci:

    I usually find it more helpful to take the headache pill BEFORE I start :)

    These state taxes are something else here…. get over $1000 refund from IRS but still have to pay $47 to the state…. always comes out that way!

  6. Andrea C.:

    I’m so thankful that my father-in-law is a extremely knowledgeable CPA, but we send in all our tax stuff as soon as we get everything in because my husband is a pastor and we have to be really organized and keep up with all kinds of receipts, etc. Luckily, in Texas, there is no state income tax, so we got to put our refund directly into savings! Most of that has gone towards hospital bills (baby on the way), but Praise God we had the money!

  7. Angelsong:

    We also filed our taxes in February. Thankfully, Texas has no state income tax, so doing the Federal form was all we needed. It was actually fairly straightforward, although I did have to wait a few days to get one of the forms for our house from our new mortgage company because of the refinance we did. I really like filing electronically.

  8. Luke:

    We wrapped up taxes last night. Since we had to pay this year, I wanted to wait as long as humanly possible!

    Like you, I should have paid estimated taxes last year (I am this year), so the end-of-the-year chunk of money due wasn’t quite as bad a hit. But, this was my first year of having any self-employment income, so it is a good problem to have.

  9. I actually filed my taxes back in February. I was ready for my refund. I did have an issue though with Taxcut. Now keep in mind, I worked at an accounting office for eight years and I did bookwork and taxes while I was there, so I know how depreciation is suppose to work.

    The crazy program kept telling me I couldn’t depreciate a truck for my husband’s on-the-side business that had been depreciating for three years. It just about drove me nuts. Finally I figured out how to get the program to calculate it. It was really weird.

  10. Servant:

    Mercy! I filed earlier since I knew a refund was coming, but all that is going to change next year since DH’s changed careers.

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