Sunday evening at Hacienda TV

Despite the pain of doing my own taxes--two audits, irrational outbursts, misguided fits of libertarianism--I still persist, though I've never done them by hand. My tax days began long after the advent of Turbotax.

Last night, I came very close to suffering a nervous breakdown thanks to the US tax code (No, I don't f-ing own a farm. Stop asking!!!). I had just finished my federal return, and was downloading the CA worksheets, when my computer rebooted itself. I blame Intuit, the makers of Turbotax, since it was their program that was running at the time, but I can't prove it. Computers don't save state unless they are specifically compiled with debugging options. Commercial software never is. That didn't stop me from sending a nastygram to Intuit anyway.

When the machine restarted, my drive D:\ needed to be checked for errors (a FAT32 partition, for those who find such a detail meaningful). I lost what appeared to be some minor data, but when I restarted TT, it said that my file was corrupt and unrecoverable.

I spent WEEKS putting in all the info. As docs came in the mail, I put them in TT. I sipped mint tea. I said that the IRS couldn't turn my hair white before its time (that hasn't stopped them from trying).


But I remained calm. I had just returned from yoga, and wasn't about to get mad about something that causes me genuine anxiety, and pain, and sleepless nights.


One tea, beer, and hour later, I had put everything back into TT. I made a backup every fifteen minutes to another drive. When it was all done, I burned a copy to a CD. I'm tempted to get a safety deposit box.

Oh, and I efiled. I hated paying for doing somebody else a favor, namely putting all the tax information into a computer so that they don't have to pay someone to do it. Did you know that if you smail your taxes in, somebody actually puts in each number--by hand--into a computer? One audit ago, the stenographer mistyped a 2 for a 4, and the feds thought I underpaid by 2 grand. I've paid more for less peace of mind.

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