Thursday, April 6, 2006

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I did my taxes last night.

More precisely, I had TurboTax do my taxes last night.

Doing my taxes on TurboTax is generally a very simple procedure.  This because I am insanely anal about saving all my tax documents throughout the year.  So, before I sat down with TurboTax, I just pulled my "tax file" and sorted through the docs -- W-2?  Check.  1099s?  Check.  Thing from my mortgage lender?  Check.  Property tax bill, vehicle license fee, receipts for charitable donations?  Check, check, check.

I noticed that I sold some stock last year.  I'm not a huge investor and I apparently sold some stock back in March.  I don't even remember this, but I'll take my documents' word for it.  In order to deal with the capital gain (or loss -- at this point, I don't even know which it was) I'll need to know how much I paid for the stock.

No problem.  I'll just pull up my online broker account and find out how much I paid.

The online access (got my password right on the first guess!  yay me!) doesn't have the information.  (What?!)  Seems that their records only go back two years, and this purchase was way before that.  And as for data that I had put in (I know I put it in -- I put everything in there when I first got online access), well, since I didn't hold that stock anymore, the account had conveniently deleted the purchase information.  And when I asked it to access the all-important "gains and losses" statement, it said I didn't have any for 2005.  ("But I did!" I whine at it.  It is not impressed.)

No problem.  (Sigh.)  I have the original information.  Downstairs.  In a box in the garage.  Where I keep ALL my old documents.  (Reference that bit about being insanely anal about this sort of thing.)  I'll just go down to my storage locker and find the right box and scare up the document. 

I'll just need my key for the lock.

It isn't on my keyring.  No problem.  It'll be in the "secret place where I hide all my keys."  I go right to the secret key hiding place and it isn't there.  (Lots of keys are, though.  Like, for my old car, and the house I grew up in.)  I check all my purses.  Everywhere I can think of. 

I investigate the storage locker.  In the absence of a key, I suppose I can take the door off the hinges.  But that is messy and time-consuming and not the elegant solution I'm looking for.  My neighbor offers to help with the hinge-removal, but I figure I'll make one last sweep of my condo.

Last place I saw the keys was on my dresser.  Did they end up thrown in a dresser drawer by mistake?  No.  Did they fall behind the dresser?  I see something back there but can't make out what it is.  I get a flashlight and get on my hands and knees and check under the dresser.

So that's where the cat's been hiding things.  Three pens, a roll of film, a luggage lock, my phone's belt-clip, and about 8 of them little furry mice she bats around.  I check under the couch in the other room and find more mice, pens, a document I can't identify and ... something red.  Still no keys.

But now I'm on a roll, checking behind things.  There's a big pile of folders on my wall shelves and the pile is so big it has fallen over.  I straighten up the pile and check under it to find... my keys!

Back to the storage locker.  Even better news than finding my keys -- the box in which the key document was stored was not the box that "exploded" when we had the flood down there.  Since I don't know the exact date I'm looking for, it takes a bit of time -- but I find the right document in about 15 minutes.


It only took about an hour to do my taxes.  Three hours to find the damn document.


jusmeinia7 said...

I think we'll do our taxes with turbotax next year,  much better than having someone else do them.   I had trouble finding my keys to the car and house the other day....looked high and low...nowhere to be found.   Know where they were?  In the DOOR from when I came home that afternoon!!  Talk about dumb!!  lol

helmswondermom said...

Wow!  I am impressed!  I mean with the way you found your key and how quickly you could put your hand on that document!