Sunday, January 27, 2013

Val Thevictorian and the Ripple of Gloom

I have spent the day taking one step forward and twelve steps back.

Lest you think I am learning new dance moves, I must declare that I have NOT been tripping the light fantastic. No waltz, no polka, no electric slide, no macarena, no tango. Not even a chicken dance. I'm no hoofer. What I HAVE been doing is my tax return.

Oh, how simple the Federal 1040! It is mere child's play compared to the Missouri maze of false starts and dead ends and divisions and recombinations designed to flummox the math-and-direction-challenged everyman. Neither factor of which is usually a weakness in Val Thevictorian. Just when you think you're going to town on that sucker, you hit line number two, and have to embark on a journey that makes the adventures of Indiana Jones look like the afternoon playdate of a toddler in a backyard sandbox. It is akin to sending a new intern from the rooftop helipad to the basement morgue, and farthest reaches of every floor in between, all under the guise of procuring a left-handed thermometer.

Remember the days of the paper booklets mailed to each taxpayer near the beginning of January? I don't know about you other-staters, but Missouri had a thin book of forms, with accompanying directions, several little worksheet boxes...and the whole kit 'n' caboodle was only about eight pages from front to back! Now I need to get online, find the type-in forms, and when I go to look for directions, there are a multitude of unnecessary fillables in my way. EIGHTEEN PAGES! I don't want to print all that! I tried just a couple of prime pages, but you have to click the PRINT selection within the form, or you get gobbledegook. AND, you can click to get the instructions for each line, but good luck getting back to where you started from.

For the last two years, I've used TurboTax for my official filing needs. I have it ready this year, at my left elbow. But I'm trying to get these figures in an accessible reference form for the FAFSA. Genius happens to NEED this by February 1st. Yeah. Good luck, Genius. I just got my last document Friday. And rumor has it that forms should not be officially filed until after January 30th. Everything is pretty much in order right now, except I can't figure out why this MO form is giving me a couple-hundred-dollar break in adjustments, but not Hick. Darn those income percentages! They're so archaic. The Feds don't care that Hick makes twice my money. Why should the state revenuers? It's back to the old recalculation board for me.

Alas, I have tarried too long at the Diet Coke watering hole. I sense something creeping up behind me, and it's not granny panties.


  1. It's perhaps too late now, but in the past, Washington University--here in BigCityLand--would help parents with the FAFSA. They would have financial aid workshops. Perhaps if you have questions you could call their financial aid department?

    Good luck. Thankfully, I am not the math/paperwork genius in our marital union, so I never had to do the FAFSA.

  2. Sioux,
    Funny you should mention Wash U. That's the school that must have the FAFSA by Feb. 1.

    Our local college is having a workshop on Feb. 17 in which you can fill out your FAFSA during the presentation. I read on the internet (so it must be true) that filing your FAFSA and other documents only reserves you a place in line with the financial aid committee. It may be three months before they even get around to looking at your info.

    We'll just check the box that says taxes have not been filed yet, then go back and update. That's the only real can they want that info when people can't even file their taxes yet?

  3. Our ancestors crossed oceans and borders; fought wars and spent hours in government haggeling so we would have an opportunity to pay taxes. Ain't it GRAND!

  4. Leenie,
    The taxes are but a pleasant romp through a field of daisies, under a rainbow, with the suitor of your dreams, compared to the fresh slice of Not-Heaven that is the Washington University tool of torture. I want the last two-and-a-half hours of my life back.