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Did my taxes for 2012


  03:10:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1773 words  
Categories: General, Computer, Home, Windows, FreeBSD, VirtualBox, Quicken/TurboTax

Did my taxes for 2012

Like I do every year, I bought TurboTax Premier Federal + E-File + State 2012 as a PC Download from Amazon.com back on Jan 18th, in part due to sale email from TurboTax. But, probably should've waited, because its cheaper now. Not sure why PC download is so similar in price to buying PC/Mac package. And, wasn't sure if I would still be on a PC.

In fact, I haven't had a physical Windows machine for almost 10 months now. Last year I did my taxes in a Windows XP VirtualBox VM on orac, since I had evolved to running Quicken in different XP VirtualBox VMs and using Dropbox to house my Quicken datafile. My first XP VM was on my laptop....and I spent part of Gallifrey One 2011 getting Quicken up and running in that VM and recovering my Quicken data. Where it seemed the best place to put the file was in my Dropbox. Have since adjusted things to make that work better to mostly cope with the locking issues between Quicken and Dropbox. I set up the one on orac which is where I did 'Windows' for about 9 months, and still use on occasion due to the lack of USB 2.0 support for VirtualBox on FreeBSD.

Though on zen, I have a Windows 7 VM (and still own another Windows 7 copy that I don't know where I'm going to put to use, just as I have a couple copies of XP still...been planning to put the 64-bit XP one into a VM on zen...but it hasn't happened yet.) Perhaps when I finally do get my Mac, I'll use some copies there.

Anyways...I would fire up TurboTax now and then, to see it get updates. Always thought it strange that after it said it was done that it would say that it was restarting TurboTax, but not. So, I never did more than see what updates it was getting.

But, I had intended to start my taxes last weekend...where DST began, though that turned out to be a bit of a weird weekend so I didn't get to it. I had actually intended the weekend before DST, but that also didn't pan out. But, seems tradition has been 2nd or 3rd weekend of March lately.... It is also for some reason the weekend that they always bring down HRIS for upgrades. As it happened this year, I did want to go on there and check something....

So, Friday night at 10pm I fired up TurboTax to see what updates, there were a lot. Been kind of unsettling lately...especially after the IRS Notice I got last year, which I dealt with using the services of Tax Resources...but it might have been a variation of a TurboTax bugs -- "Federal 2010: Customers with certain 1099-R retirement distribution codes" or "Federal 2010: Qualified Pension Conversion and Rollover" -- so I probably should've gotten TurboTax to take the heat for it.

Of course, TurboTax has had other issues in the past, and yet I stay with it year after year....

So, anyways...I decided to fire up TurboTax and see what new updates there were around 10pm Friday night. Again afterwards, it says "Restarting TurboTax....and doesn't." But, I start it up again and have it check for updates again, this time there aren't any so it does start up. Wonder if I want to do updates now that I've filed? (to check progress)

I ended up plugging in values until I realized it was 2am.

During this process, I discovered I hadn't gotten around to install LibreOffice into this Windows 7 VM....so I did that. Though I ended up combing through Quicken to figure out my cost basis for the investments I disposed of last year. I took profit in a couple good ones, and I opted to dispose of a few crummy ones. Like one that I paid $1100 for a Lot, which under went two 1:10 splits...resulting in me selling 1 share for less than the original P/S at purchase. (~99.2% loss). Though it was also a real pain selling one of my DRP stocks...a real estate one...which had taken a huge beating, but finally gone up to where I could take some profit but since I don't really follow the company anymore (they don't do business around here), I had been meaning to sell it eventually. Just some point after the last DRP transaction in 2009. Which had turned the original purchase of 25 shares into 32 (with some loss of fraction when I consolidated brokers.) When I started investing, I had gotten an E*Trade account, because it was included as part of participating in the company's ESPP. Though later I got a HarrisDirect account, in order to exercise stock options I had gotten from the same employer. Where at some point, I had decided to turn on Dividend Reinvestment in the E*Trade account. And, I used HarrisDirect for other kinds of stocks. HarrisDirect was owned by Bank of Montreal....so I had purchased stock in BMO from some of the cash from the stock option exercise, I also at one time held E*Trade stock...but then HarrisDirect was acquired by E*Trade. And, not wanting to consolidate the two pools, I opted to move to TD Waterhouse. I was able to excercise the last of my vested stock options using TD Ameritrade (acquiring some AMTD afterwards.) At some point after that the 'free' E*Trade account got worse (new fees because it wasn't big enough or used frequently enough...)...probably in connection to no longer working for company that had resulted in me getting the account originally. So, I rolled it into my TD Ameritrade account. Also my 401(k) was getting worse...there were shares shaving off every month when I was working for past employer, and now even more was getting shaved off each month now that i wasn't. So, I put that into a rollover IRA at TD Ameritrade...which has since been rolled over to TIAA-CREF with my 403(b) -- which caused the fun that I mentioned above.

Anyhoo, ended up with a net loss of $86. Fortunately, you can deduct up to $3000 in capital losses each year.... But, was now into entering deductions which I stopped after I finished entering amounts for charities I gave to last year.

And, then the next morning I fired it up again....it had a new update, for State Prep, no link provided on details. After updating, I fired it up again...and decided to finish enter my charity donations....seems they make it harder and harder every year. First you needed to record the city and state of the Charity, then you needed to record the city, state and zipcode of the charity. Now you need the full address. Don't these people know that there's this thing called the Internet.... Some of these charities do, they only provide electronic means to donate to them and make it really hard to find anything that resembles their physical address. Though it didn't seem to bug me about the charities that I gave to again...though some had full addresses, so I guess I had forgotten about this change last year. Or, I that somewhere during the year, I forgot to include street address when recording the transaction into Quicken.

But, when I had stopped, there wasn't time to catch the bus to do the errand I needed to do...so I got ready anyways and then sat down to do some more until the next bus, but when I looked up again....I had done it again. And, then again....eventually I decided to not go out and finish this.

When I got to the end it... I should be getting a ~15% bigger Federal refund and a ~45% bigger State refund than last year.

TurboTax was difficult on handling last year's state tax refund, this year...for taxing by federal this year. It wanted to transfer the full amount of its estimated state refund after completing Federal last year, rather than the actual state refund after completing the state portion. There was a reduction by $159 for use tax. This year the reduction for use tax was $149. I had expected it to be lower, since I didn't make a huge computer purchase this year, like the year before. But, I guess I did a lot more little things....like all those SSDs :) Had to find the line on the form and update by hand, since the reason for why it was different wasn't provided. Something that I've had to do in the past on other issues in the past. Like for a few years it was including empty forms that would mess up e-filing, just because I used to use the form in past years...but haven't since I got that letter that I'm no longer considered a Canadian Resident for tax purposes. So, that results in the hefty non-resident tax withheld by broker on dividends I get from the Canadian stocks I own(ed)....stocks like Provident Energy (now Pembina Pipeline), TransCanada and TransAlta.... though I sold my TransCanada a while back...though could've timed it better after the Keystone rejection. And, it would probably have still been a good stock for its dividend....but I had other reasons.

But, largely due to taking a capital loss rather than having capital gains last year....my refund has gotten bigger, despite there being less deductions in mortgage interest or the small raise I had gotten. And, I gave about $350 more to charity this year. Though state and property taxes were up from last year.....itemized deduction total was only about $100 more. Though my effective tax rate is up from 2011.

I earned less interest this year, but I got more in dividend income...largely due to the special dividends around December 31st.

Wonder how to compute state sales tax versus state income tax for federal deduction? Since Kansas is working towards being a 0% income tax state. Though states like this tend to require reporting/paying of use tax more frequently. Perhaps I'll make a note to start keeping a record sales tax amounts next year. Though it'll probably be a few more years before it becomes an issue... The 2012 income tax rate was $1462.50 + 6.45% on portion over $30,000, while 2013's income tax rate is $450 + 4.9% on portion over $15,000. The IRS calculator estimates my Sales Tax amount to be substantially less than income tax.... Though the gap will be smaller next year.


Meanwhile...will I still get that Mac? The biggest question being where will I put it? The space where my TARDIS was has been repurposed, so having it regenerate into a Mac might not be practical....especially since its getting both smaller and bigger. TARDIS was a full size PC tower (Dell Dimension XPS Gen-2), but it was just an 18" LCD. Now I'll probably want something that is a pair of 23" widescreen displays..... U-(

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Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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