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Sunday, April 10, 2005

Having never filed income taxes on line before, I was a little nervous about the process. Still am, in fact. I input all the numbers I had on my various forms — W 2, 1099-DIV and K-1. The software is totally interactive, and I answered all the questions as correctly as I knew how. And yet, Iím nervous.

Maybe part of the reason is that they try to sell you a personal tax consultation, and when you donít bite they try to sell audit protection. Now, I donít think thereís much chance of my being audited by the IRS, because Iím such a small fish. Iím pretty sure they go after the more obvious sharks and leave guppies like me alone.

Still, Iíve never been a member of a limited liability company before. Thatís new, and so are the deductions I took for charitable contributions and the state vehicle license fee. This last thing is something I wouldnít have even known about if the tax program hadnít told me it was deductible. Iím just glad I kept as many records as I did, and you can bet Iíll keep even closer watch on such things the rest of this year.

Thereís a 24 to 48 hour waiting period before I learn whether my return has been accepted. Iím nervous about that, because it wonít leave me much time to make any corrections or adjustments, or to get help if I need it. This whole process is new to me. Iíve always been able to file the easy short forms in the past, and it might take me a while to relax about it.

The thing is, I donít know how the taxes were calculated. I have to take it on faith that the program did everything correctly, because I canít print a copy until after itís been accepted. I donít know how my participation in The Kennel affected my taxes, either positively or negatively, and I donít know how much my charitable donations might have saved me. Itís a matter of loose ends that need to be tied up, in my mind anyway. That makes me a little nervous.

8 April 2005

Cloud soup.

The whole process took about two and a half hours out of my Sunday afternoon. Iím not getting any refunds, Iím sorry to say. I could have had six dollars back from the federal government, but I chose to have it applied to next yearís taxes. And I have to pay an additional $69.00 to the state of California, plus the e-filing fee to the software company. If it turns out that everything has been done correctly, and that Iím being nervous for nothing, then that fee will be well worth it.

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The Giantsí two best power hitters are on the disabled list, so what do they do? They score runs the old-fashioned way, one at a time, hitting dinks and doinks and taking the extra base. They even scored a run on a foul pop-up to the first baseman today on their way to an 11-4 pasting of the Rockies. They have feasted on Colorado pitching, scoring 25 runs in their three-game sweep that lifted them into a first-place tie with the Dodgers. In todayís game, Jason Schmidt gave up just two hits, and he had two hits of his own Ė in the same inning. Looks like the stars are aligning the way they should (which is good, because now they head to LA for the next two games).

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"There's nothing like sitting out in the sun late on a Saturday afternoon, watching ten- to twelve-year-olds romping around the bases and throwing the ball all over the field."

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