Sunday, April 17, 2011

Old Fashioned Tax Tips

Tomorrow (April 18, 2011) is this year's deadline for filing one's U.S. federal income tax forms with the IRS.  I pride myself on being high tech in a lot of things and deploying the latest and greatest ways to do things.

I don't do that with my taxes though.  Call me old fashioned.

I do my own taxes.  For one, I prefer to use my old self-created Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet to figure out my taxes. The one year I tried Turbo Tax, it didn't work for me at all.  I never went back to it.

I don't transmit electronically.  The IRS policies favor paid preparers or tax software for e-filing, there is no easy, cost-free, way for me to transmit my taxes.  So, until there is a way to do it for free, I won't.
I send hand-written checks.  I'm a person who hates to get a tax refund. If I could get my tax withholding to the exact dollar, I would. That means, I find myself owing the IRS a bit each year.  No reason to speed up payment, right?  A hand-written check is the way to go.

I send my forms in a hand-written envelope.  I do use on-line, fill-in PDF forms to complete my tax forms.  That means I don't have a pre-printed envelope though.  So, I hand write it.  Nothing mystical here.  I just don't feel the urge to run the envelope through a printer or pull out the old typewriter.

I ask the Post Office to hand cancel my return.  When I dropped the 2010 taxes off at the Post Office yesterday morning, I asked for a hand cancel.  Yep.  That's the way of handling mail that dates back to before the Pony Express.  As my envelope is stuffed to the gills with Schedule A and other schedules, it's a thick envelope some modern Postal Service machine might eat.  Thus, I prefer the old style hand cancel stamp to reduce the machine action and be 100% sure that my return is postmarked before the IRS return deadline.

Call these my old fashioned tax tips.

No comments:

Post a Comment