December 12th, 2002

self portrait

Audit survival

On Tuesday, I had my audit with the IRS to get through. I wasn't too upset about this as I knew exactly what they wanted and was pretty sure what the outcome would be.

When we got the van for Ericka last year, we set up things with the Kwanzaa Community Center to accept donations and act as Ericka's agent. This did two very good things. The money would not go to Ericka and, therefore, could not be counted as income for her in any way, assuring that she wouldn't get kicked off medical assistance for that. The second nice thing was that it would make people's donations tax deductible as they were going to a church.

Well, there was some funky stuff with Kwanzaa and them becoming independent of their national board or somesuch. That didn't work out. Thus, they couldn't handle the money. We found out about this by having the nice Rollx van people call us and ask if we were planning on making our final payment to them any time soon. A few panicked phone calls later, things got sorted out and I got my sizable check back. I wrote a check to Rollx and they got paid, we got to keep the van, which is the important part.

Well, all of this happened after April 15, so I'd already filed my taxes, received my return and spent big chunks of it. So filing an amended return was not in my best interest, particularly since I wasn't very well employed by then.

Well, the audit came and I did some quick figuring. I'd be owing the IRS about $2k because of the debacle. All that remained was going through the process.

The process itself was fairly painless. The IRS guy went through my return and pointed out errors and I confirmed them. I had, for example, forgotten to claim my state tax refund as income. Also, after filing my taxes I received a royalty check for $21 that I hadn't claimed. On the positive side, there was about $1,500 worth of mortgage interest I hadn't claimed; not sure how that happened. Still, all told, I did, indeed, owe them the $2k and change. So now I have to fill out the paper work to get on a payment plan with them. Sigh.

All of this points toward getting a budget done.

That means broaching money issues with Ericka. She always gets upset when we do that. Something very scary about money with her, particularly if she thinks we don't have enough of it. Times like this we wind up with odd bits of food we don't eat from food shelves as she tries to assuage some fear or another.

It would help if the house refinancing were completed as that would significantly reduce my monthly expenses, allowing me to catch up on various bills and make good headway toward the IRS. That's still in the works, however, so there's probably at least one month of mortgage that'll put the squeeze on things.

I did make one smart decision yesterday. I called in sick to work. About an hour after doing that (about the time I'd be arriving at work) I crashed and slept the night through. When dogs showed up this morning, I awoke, had something to eat and went back to sleep for a big chunk of the morning and early afternoon. Good to get some sleep and I think it helped fight off the nagging cold-thing that was trying to take hold.
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    South Australia--Gaelic Storm--Herding Cats
self portrait

That special time of year...

Yes, it's Open Enrollment time again. For those of you without benefits, this is the annual time of year in which those of us who are corporate drones can switch around our benefit programs.

So there's two things I need to do before the deadline (Dec. 18):
  1. Shop for and choose a new pair of eyeglasses.
  2. Determine how much chiropractor treatments for the year will be
I'm soliciting volunteers to help with #1. Left to my own devices, I'm likely to pick something functional but not necessarily flattering. I'd like some fashion advice from the more fashion-oriented set of friends I have. So...anyone want to go shopping with me?
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    Teenage FBI--Guided by Voices--Buffy the Vampire Slayer