It’s that time of year and it’s a whole new world

Hooded Oriole sipping the aloe nectar.
Hooded Oriole sipping the aloe nectar.

I’m talking taxes. The Gypsy Carpenters just went through their annual tax reporting. As we all knew, know, or will know, the so-called tax reform does not favor the small time business owner. Taxes were confusing before but we knew the system. Now nobody knows the rules, including, it seems, the TurboTax e-filing program. A person of average intelligence should be able to file their own taxes without emotional trauma or fear of misreporting. Filing was difficult before the reform. Today, post-reform, I have no idea what when why or how. It was ugly. We owe so much that retirement looks more profitable. You think I’m kidding? I am not. Looking at you, Mr. Trump. Our main hit was caused by changes to rental income. What once was a legal and reliable loss or net even for us is now income. Substantial income. Also troubling, the TurboTax program is double counting my 1099 income. I can’t get it to take it once with appropriate deductions. It’s either in twice with deductions or in once with no deductions. A person of standard intellect should be able to manage. Tears were not shed but they were there caught in my lashes wanting to break free. I will not cry over you and your assaults on the small business owner Mitch McConnell and friends.

What does any sane person do in this situation? I estimated our taxes due and filed extensions with the feds and the state and sent them a ton of money. And now I put my head in the sand until we return to the US and I can find advice. The way I currently read the tax situation it does not pay to be a part-time entrepreneur.

Meanwhile Burt has a hernia and our livelihood is at stake. A surgical repair is required for him to get back to work. No heavy lifting from now until six or more weeks post surgery. We’re trying to figure out how to schedule the operation and recovery so Burt can get to work as scheduled. At least our Baja house is at a place we can leave it until Burt and our bank accounts recover.

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Working Days

The snake lab before.
The snake lab before.

I had my first day on the job yesterday and nobody got hurt. I was climbing ladders and overhead nailing with the big gun. I did mis-measure the first 5 or so pieces I needed to measure. I have to remember how to read a tape measure every year. It was a good workout, mentally and physically.

The building we are working on these days was formerly some kind of reptile laboratory. Snakes, I think, were the main thing. We are transforming it into an office and bedroom. Gutting the place to the studs was handled before our arrival. We lucked out and got to skip the really dirty work on this one.

Today Burt worked and I sorted 5 months worth of mail. Thanks, Sue, for collecting, forwarding and adding 3 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies. Binge eating Thin Mints helps me get through the pile of paperwork. I also finished our 2014 taxes today. I am here to announce the Obama Care tax credit worked out perfectly. It was easy to figure out how to do the tax credit with TurboTax and we came out neither too taxed nor too subsidized. It’s a huge relief to have this behind me.

Me, trying the remember how to read this.
Me, trying to remember how to read this.
Overhead nailing.
Overhead nailing.
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