Wednesday, April 17, 2013
This is a Cautionary Tale
No, this picture was not taken in jail, but if there were a jail for clowns masquerading as grown-ups, I would probably be doing some serious time.
Tax day was nigh, and I breathed a sigh of relief when the email from my tax guy landed in my inbox. I read the cover letter, checked the adjusted gross income, verified my name and social security number. The attachment was over 100 pages. I had house guests. I did not, I confess, comb through the hundred and some pages. There was a tidy little box in the cover letter that showed my refunds for state and federal and the amount owed for capitol gains for the sale of my farmland in the state of Nebraska. The net result was a negative number, (alas) but the letter advised me that all of this giving and taking would occur electronically. Ah, I thought, I don't have to do anything. How nice.
I awoke on April 16th with a jolt. Wait....wasn't I supposed to pay my quarterly estimated taxes for 2013? On the 15th?! I spent part of the day in denial, part in a panic. There would be thousands in penalties, I thought. I was too embarrassed to call my tax guy or the ever-so-patient financial advisor. What now? How could I be so careful, so meticulous all year long, and then screw things up?
At the end of the day, sick with dread, I called the financial guy, figuring that if I were a tax preparer, I would be in Maui at the bottom of an umbrella drink on April 16th, and I would most certainly not answer a phone call from me. "D" I said, "I did something really bad." There was a long pause while he contemplated what the crazy woman might have done. Vegas? A couple thousand Power Ball tickets? I explained. Then he explained. Turns out it's not a big deal. Yes, there may be a couple of days of interest... but it might be more cost effective for them just to forget it. Oh--and the quarterly payment for the state taxes had a one-day grace period for online payments. So I wasn't late there at all.
I was a wife for 30 years. I let my husband take care of all things financial. Bah!--why worry my pretty head? That philosophy has resulted in several financial migraines these last few years.
Oh pretty young wife married to the man of your dreams, I wish you a wiser road.