Sunday, May 06, 2007

Tax Man

(From introspection to income taxes)

As it turns out, rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar's -- is not so easily done.

Troy spent all of Saturday night and Sunday afternoon working on taxes. Yes, it is past April 15 but if you live outside of the country you get an automatic extension until June 15. Good and bad ... for procrastinators, mostly bad.

Motivated by Britt's need for completed tax information for her federal student aid paperwork, Troy got serious about getting it done this weekend.

It took a ton of time, but all went fairly well. There was a small panic attack when he thought we owed the state of Michigan about $1,500 (where the Lifeline mission is headquartered) but then he realized his mistake. We owe them nothing, they owe us nothing. Minnesota owes us like $7.50, which is nice since we feel paying some of the highest property taxes in the country is more than enough. Thanks to our trusty renter, we still own a home and still pay property taxes. And you know what? Why not? We pay those property taxes in order to walk into our government offices and be treated like royalty. It's so worth it to receive quality service from trusty folks.

For example, I walked into Sherburne County Driver and Vehicle services in April and was told that I could not purchase tabs for Troy's 1992 truck unless I had power of attorney. I said "Excuse me? I am his wife. I am trying to put tabs on his ancient truck - so my dad can drive it legally across town when he moves- that's all -- it's like giving Troy money. Trust me, he won't mind." The lovely pug-faced lady stared coldly at me until I gave up and walked away. That is the level of service high property taxes can buy you.

This was our last year to use up our adoption tax credit, which is really why we wanted to adopt again - to stick it to the federal government. We always want them to get almost nothing from us. I'm kidding. We love the federal government. And taxes.

Troy finished and went to file on-line. Then the problem arose. It seems that Turbo Tax does not recognize "MN" as the state abbreviation for Minnesota. If you could see the screen on Troy's laptop, you would see it says "You must fix this error." Herein lies the problem. Last we knew, Minnesota still used MN as its state abbreviation.


Oh, in the time it took to type up this oh-so-interesting report on the state of our tax filing --- Troy has found a tiny paragraph buried in legalese on a site not related to Turbo Tax that says "MN does not accept non-resident e-file." There you go. Snail mail it is. Why make it easy when you can make it hard? That is the super-secret state motto.

Good to know MN is still the state abbreviation. That will help with addressing the envelope.