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Happiness is tax season in the rearview mirror.
By Edie Gross
EVERY YEAR, my
It is, quite literally, the least fun two consenting adults can have together besides camping.
We would much rather cliff dive into a pit of untreated sewage teeming with genetically modified, man-eating jellyfish, but we are not GSA employees and therefore cannot afford such extravagance.
So we download TurboTax instead.
The word "turbo" in the product's name may be a bit of a misnomer as my husband managed to grow a full-length beard between the time we started and finished our latest tax filing.
Then again, I shudder to think what would've happened had we gone with the off-brand product TorpidTax.
I think part of the problem is that we attempt to do this sober every year. I don't recommend that.
Given that the tax code seems to have been written by someone in a supremely altered state, it makes perfect sense that one should experience it that way.
For instance, read this helpful excerpt from the Form 1040 instruction booklet:
Some dividends may be reported as qualified dividends in box 1b of Form 1099–DIV but are not qualified dividends. These include: Dividends attributable to periods totaling more than 366 days that you received on any share of preferred stock held for less than 91 days during the 181-day period that began 90 days before the ex-dividend date.
Now read it again after inhaling deeply at a Grateful Dead tribute concert.
So much better, right? I know.
As an aside, I always feel a little sorry for the dividends listed in box 1a of the 1099-DIV.
All year long, they cheerfully go about their business, doing whatever incredibly fascinating thing it is that dividends do, only to be told at the end of it all that they're "ordinary," while the dividends just to the right of them in box 1b are "qualified."
Hardly seems fair.
In any case, for our e-filing journey, my husband sits in the driver seat, pointing, clicking and cursing.
I sit next to him with stacks of W-2's, receipts and our 1099-A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y at the ready.