Every U.S. Accountant Deserves a Hug!
I am used to juggling three jobs at a time, herding children, and having an accountant do my taxes. Mel Ray, CPA has been doing my taxes forever! But since my work has been limited here in Ireland I decided this would be the year to try and do them myself. That was a great idea except that I have no idea what I'm doing and was writing a dissertation with no time to learn the intricacies of tax system in April. So I did the American thing and filed for an extension. Cool. That gave me until October 16th. Yeah, cool, except of course I put them off until the 11th, and then dug in.
And the detail blew my mind. As if getting through the form wasn't hard enough. the system rejected what I thought was a return three times and I was so excited when I got an e mail that said they'd been received by the IRS that I went for a walk. When I got back I had another e- mail saying they'd been rejected with a list of three errors about balancing line 40 with line 29 on the Schedule A, rechecking the medical deductions again some other form and reconciling the sums of lines 45, 46 and 47a.
And each time I fixed what they sent, I'd get an e-mail it had been received....followed by a rejection ten minutes later with something completely different to study for an hour, like Business rule 1040-019-03 saying if line 3 is equal to line 2 multiply the sum by 7.5% but remember you can't do that if you weren't born in 1952. (which I wasn't)
In all, I had seven submissions and six rejections before getting this, a final acceptance.
Yes, I could have bailed on the whole thing, skipped the schedule A and learning about why line 40 has to match line 29, and dumped the problem on Mel Ray, CPA, Reno's Accountant to the Stars, but it got personal and I wasn't going to let FreeFile get the better of me.
I walk away from this have learned a couple of important lessons: To move on taxes a lot earlier next year, whether I do them or give them to Mel. And to get behind the effort to simplify the tax forms. You hear how confusing they are, but it's not until you have to actually understand what Business Rule 1040-019-03 is asking for that you really get that accountants deserve way more respect than they get! And I'd say a hug, too!