Signs of adulthood: Married, filing jointly

by Katie on April 15, 2009

Taxes. 
The time of year when we’re all most proud to be American, right?

Luckily, Brandon did most of the data entry into our makeshift spreadsheets, since we never got our Peachtree accounting software set up in 2008. (Or so far in 2009, for that matter.) I was just stuck with the filing and sorting from his half of the year (pre-marriage). Everything from my half of the year (post-marriage) was in place. 

One source of frustration for us in all of this has been our different record keeping methods. Brandon is a paper nut. If you buy a pack of gum, it needs a fully annotated receipt that is kept in a pile on top of a desk. I prefer to go the more modern route, and keep electronic copies of these things, and back them up with online storage. 
But he’s holding solid on his paper stance. I don’t stand a chance. So I’m dealing with the hundreds of file folders, pieces of paper floating around, and numerous ink cartridges run dry from all that printing – and hoping we never have a fire.
Brandon, the King of Clutter, tried to explain the way he handles receipts, invoices and the like: “I use the ‘pile method.’ You let everything pile up for six months, and then when it’s about to fall over, you sort through things and file them.”
Me: “That’s not a method. And it makes me crazy.”
Brandon: “Yeah, I know. That’s why we’re going to use your method. …As soon as I finish going through this pile.”
And now, our things have been fully sorted and properly filed away in their respective folders according to my method. We have met with the accountant (for two solid hours). We have created, filed, corrected and refiled W-2s for two of our four companies, corrected all of our employer tax returns, and filled out the necessary paperwork for interest payments we made. 
But today, we will still not be sending in our tax returns. We will be filing an extension. I think we overwhlemed our accountant with the stacks of ledgers and forms we dropped off. We like to make things complicated, especially if it saves us a buck in the long run.
It was very nice to select the “Married, filing jointly,” option for the first time, especially after I took a good look at those tax brackets. There is a definite advantage to that status, so I was glad .
I am most happy we survived this first year of working together on taxes, despite me using the phrase, “I despise working with you on this,” numerous times. And Brandon responding with, “Oh, yes, and it’s just looove-ly working with you.” At least we’re honest and open with our feelings, right? 
But now that we have the record keeping preferences battled out, and we no longer have a “pile method” (which I still say is not a method), I think 2009’s taxes will run much smoother.
Especially once we get around to getting our software set up…
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