:::: MENU ::::

Knee Deep in It – Tax Season


I’d been so proud of myself for getting posts done ahead of time and here I am already falling off that wagon!  But I do have a good excuse…

So I haven’t filed 2013 or 2014 taxes yet.  Long story short, it all leads back to discussions early on last year with my dad regarding the house, so I am not going to get into that anymore.  But I was comfortable not filing as I had pre-paid my taxes correctly AND because the twins adoption was finalized and they were a special needs adoption, I had a large tax credit coming that can be carried over for up to 5 years.

With that in mind, I have ALWAYS filed my own taxes.  But with the possibility of needing to finance a home in the coming years and the new tax credit which I don’t have any experience with, I decided I might need to hire someone this year to do it for me and make sure I covered those bases properly.  (Since I am self-employed, banks look at my last two-three years tax returns for financing rather than current year pay.)  So I started calling around trying to find someone who was familiar with the Adoption Tax Credit (<=link to IRS site regarding credit if you are interested.)

Almost no one had any experience with the tax credit, and the cheapest I could find was $350 per year…for a total of $700 just to fill out some forms (which I have already compiled all the numbers for) and get the correct form done for the tax credit.  I spent a couple of weeks rolling that number around in my head.  And then started digging into the tax credit.

And yep, I’m back to doing my taxes myself.  I’ve already done all the compiling everything thanks to my organization kick I’ve been on this year.  I figured at $25 per hour, I could essentially give myself 28 hours of research time to figure out the new tax stuff and not have to pay anyone else the $700.  So that’s where I am this week…knee deep in tax code.  And the scary thing is, that I am actually enjoying it.

I did break down and buy TurboTax’s 2013 version to kind of guide me, but from what I can tell, even they don’t handle the tax credit properly.  So I’m doing this by hand…downloading the proper forms from the IRS.gov website and filling them in.  It’s been tedious, but I’ve learned ALOT.  Hopefully, I will wrap this up this week.  And then…I get to help the twins file their taxes.  What a cake walk next to this!


  • Reply Cathy D |

    Hope, I just want to congratulate you on finally getting your 2013 taxes out of the way so you can work on your 2014 taxes. Procrastination is the worst. My husband works for one of the largest accounting firms in the country, but he is not an accountant. He has no idea how to figure out our taxes! I used to do them myself, until we started getting taxes for his trips to New York. Now we have to pay taxes to New York every year and their forms are really complicated! It costs me $500 the last few years to have our taxes done for us. My federal taxes I can figure out on Turbo Tax and they match what the accountant does, but they require that they do the federal and state in order to figure out the New York taxes. Good luck to you and keep up with your 2015 organization skills!

  • Reply Jen From Boston |

    “Since I am self-employed, banks look at my last two-three years tax returns for financing rather than current year pay.”

    They may want more, now. The last time I refinanced was 2013. I’ve been a salaried employee with the same company for over ten years and the bank wanted copies of my two most recent tax returns. The underwriters have tightened lending requirements so I imagine they’ve gotten stricter with self-employed people.

    But, good for you for tackling the tax returns! It will feel great when they’re done and you can move on to other items on your list. And I hope you get a nice, surprise refund 😉

  • Reply lori |

    I do something similar. I find, though, that getting cash weekly works better for me. Getting cash monthly and then saying “when it’s gone it’s gone” doesn’t always work in application and I can still end up spending more than I mean to by having to get more cash later in the month. Week to week the worst case scenario is that I have to tough it out for a few days and then it’s “payday” again, versus trying to tough it could for 2 weeks, etc. On the gas front, do you have a Walmart with a gas station nearby? Instead of a card, I put cash on a walmart gift card at the start of the month and pay at the pump that way. Instead of a car checking account for car issues, I would suggest either putting X amount of cash in an envelope once a month or leaving it in your normal account and cashing a “car” check if something comes up.

  • Reply Meghan |


    A lot of tax folks probably don’t know much about the adoption credit because it is one of those credits that changes format fairly regularly. For example, in 2012 it was a credit like the Hope Credit that you could get a refund even if you paid no taxes; however it flipped in 2013 and now merely causes a reduction in your tax owed (meaning that if you owe no taxes you don’t get a refund from the credit). It may again move back to being a credit that can cause a giant refund but who knows what changes the tax code will take in the future.

    I mention this because I actually work in the tax industry in Northern Virginia, am quite a fan of following your and Ashley’s story, and would be happy to try to help you in any way that I can. Please feel free to e-mail me with any questions or concerns that you might encounter, even if you just want to know where I work so you can validate for yourself that I am not a crazy person!



So, what do you think ?