Getting a running head start on the taxes this year, thanks to a new(ish) accountant who sees no good excuse for dawdling. Tax time, is, after all, a-coming in, and really, except for a couple of stray K-1’s from the ex-DH’s various limited partnerships, there’s no reason not to start pulling all this stuff together.
The S-corp’s 2011 tax data, such as it is, can be said to already be pulled. The 1099s have been sent winging toward the folks who help make Funny about Money and The Copyeditor’s Desk possible, and all of the corporate transactions are duly recorded in Quicken’s online incarnation of Quickbooks.
The nice thing about the online Quickbooks is that New Wonder-Accountant can access the corporate books online from her computer, even though she uses a different platform from mine. I’m told the new Mac OS’s don’t support Intuit at all, and so the only other way to coordinate Quicken data with her would be for me to buy an inexpensive PC and load it with a browser and an expensive single program. The online version costs no more (possibly less) than it would cost to buy the program each year at Costco; it’s regularly updated; and she can access it whenever need be.
The S-corp’s 2011 fiscal year marked the beta-trial of QB online for me. I also kept the corporation’s books in an Excel spreadsheet, just in case. But no “in case” seems to have happened. The accountant has already explored the QB site and uttered no squawks of dismay, and so it looks like keeping the company’s books in the Cloud is going to work. It is possible to download the data to disk, by way of making back-ups at one’s own site, so I feel a lot more comfortable about this method than I did last January.
Matter of fact, the first of this month I set up an new online Quickbooks account for my personal bookkeeping, which should go a long way toward simplifying the tax process next year—and, I hope, keeping the costs of tax prep down.
Truly, I hate wrestling with all this stuff. Most of this afternoon was occupied with tracking down data and filling in parts of the 19-page worksheet for my personal taxes that Wonder-Accountant presented to me yesterday. Ugh.
Who knows what any of this stuff means? Though I struggle to keep the records complete, accurate, and transparent, half the time I have no idea what I’m doing and so have no way of knowing whether I’m getting it right. It’s a miserable, incomprehensible, time-consuming job, especially onerous given the inherent unfairness of our tax system.
Plus some of this stuff…well, I just don’t want to be reminded. It would be good, for example, not to have to dwell on how much the most basic healthcare is costing me: in 2011 I spent $6,028 on Medicare Part D, Medigap insurance, long-term care insurance, and dental, vision and medical care that was not covered.
D’you have any idea how much more that is than I used to pay for the same level of care while I had a salary? It’s just phenomenal! Lose your job, lose your income, and the cost of health insurance skyrockets.
That figure doesn’t even count the $111 a month (or so…I’ve lost track) Social Security withholds to cover Medicare Part B.
If I were paying now what I paid for healthcare when I had a job, I could live fairly comfortably in unemployment without having to make like an anchorite. And you know what? When I’ve been sick as a hound dog for something over a month, that is something I really would rather not contemplate.
Especially since my doctors so resent the chintzy reimbursements from Medicare that I can’t even get past their damn gatekeepers, who just brush me off when I call to tell them I’m not getting a whole lot better. Higher cost, lower quality.
Oh well. At least we’re getting an early start on it this year. Maybe, with any luck, entering my personal data in Quickbooks will reduce the amount of work next January and cut the number of hours—and cost—of 2012 tax prep. That’s something. I guess.
How about yourself? Have you started? Have you found a system that makes your taxpaying life any easier?