How to File Your Own Taxes: A Semi-Adult’s Guide

13 Apr

Last night I completed my second round of filing taxes by submitting the circumstances of Dave’s life – every financial detail I could remember of had record of – to the federal government, which I’m still not convinced is Constitutional.

Folks, this girl is done with her taxes.  Awww yeah.

In this moment of glory, I’m feeling particularly wise.   Humble sage that I am, I’ve decided to pass on a few tips to you to help aid you in tax filing success.  Because let’s face it: you will get more frustrated from standing in line for 2 hours and then sitting for 2 more while someone else does them than you will get if you just stay home and do them yourself.  So just stay home this year and behold the power of the magical Interwebz.

That’s right: straddle up, Sally.  It’s time to do your own taxes – the semi-adult way.  Here are a few tips to help you while you’re in the tax jungle:

♣          Put on Pajamas: Everything’s better when you’re in pajamas.  Nestle up with a super awesome, preferably childish pair of pajamas.  Pull on a onesie and button up your butt flap.  If you can find a ridiculous pattern, please do.  I prefer Mr. Bubble.

♣          Watch an Epic Movie: Taxes take perseverance.  Harden your fortitude by watching a super epic movie first.  Some suggestions are Braveheart, 300, The Last of the Mohicans, or pretty much anything that heavily features war drums.   After watching William Wallace get publicly gutted, those W-2’s with earned income in two different states won’t be nearly as intimidating.

♣          Reward Yourself: No matter how old you get, you will never be above doing something for a cookie.   So help yourself to whatever guilty pleasure you have.  Vices of all kinds are recommended; curl up with your favorite mixed drink or three, or put your w-2’s in one pile and a big, fat, chocolate cake in another.   How could taxes get any better than alcohol and cake?

♣           Track Your Progress: Since you probably have a lot of paperwork floating around, you should find a process for distinguishing the forms you’ve entered from the ones you haven’t.  Personally, I prefer to do so with gold star stickers.

♣          Ignore Fancy Government Terms: Listen – “W-2” is just a fancy sounding term for a receipt from your checks last year.  You don’t have to call it a W-2 if it makes you feel better.  That’s just a totally uninventive term the government picked.  If I could have picked, I would have gone with “gruggle”.  …Or “moopie”.  You can call it anything you want.  The government wants to call it a W-2.

♣          If You Feel Overwhelmed, Relax: If you’re using a tax program featuring live chat or community boards, take a moment to scan them every once in a while.  There’s nothing more self-assuring than screening the most recently asked questions and seeing “WHAT IF I HAD 2 JOB??!?!??!” – posted by HotMama_0814 @ 6:34pm. Reading over those intense grammatical nuggets will remind you that there is a whole slew of average Joes and Janes online trying to figure out this mathematical government puzzle.

So go.  Because remember: right now, somewhere, someone dumber than you is filing their own taxes.

Ah, adulthood.


P90X Update: 13/90 Days Complete.  Alas, I failed to work out last night after my amazing feats of tax strength.  So today I have to trade my rest day in to play catchup.  Super lame.



16 Responses to “How to File Your Own Taxes: A Semi-Adult’s Guide”

  1. Sandra April 13, 2011 at 9:13 am #

    Congrats on writing a how-to post on tax preparation that is hysterical. No easy task! Mr Bubbles PJs?! Envy!!


    • Jackie April 17, 2011 at 12:57 am #

      haha thanks 🙂 They’re old and torn and sometimes I trip over the long tatters at the bottom of the legs, but I can’t possibly part with them yet.


  2. The_Observationalist_NYC April 13, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    Just finished mine this past weekend… my friend Chardonnay lent a very large, helping hand. She always makes the sting so much more pleasant…


    • Jackie April 17, 2011 at 12:56 am #

      Ah, a wise way to proceed indeed.


  3. pegoleg April 13, 2011 at 10:26 am #

    Just one left. The big Kahuna. I refuse to pay for help. It’s a matter of pride, since I took cost accounting in college. COST Accounting, for God’s sake! I can do this. No worries. Just gotta knuckle down.

    HELP ME!!!!


    • Jackie April 17, 2011 at 12:56 am #

      You can do it Peg – Due tomorrow! And I certainly agree – stay strong and do it yourself. Don’t give your money to people who are probably just as intelligent and capable as you. Make that student loan pay off for you!


  4. egills April 13, 2011 at 11:30 am #


    Accounts, accounts, accounts.. that’s all I do all day long…. I for one am SO glad I don’t have to do my own. Your IRS system sounds so confusing!

    There was one thing missing from your guide… no mention of chocolate or icecream to stimulate concentration.


    • Jackie April 17, 2011 at 12:53 am #

      Actually, I covered chocolate cake and liquor. You may have missed it in all the confusing tax mumbo jumbo 😛


  5. KristenSays April 13, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    I have Hello Kitty footie pj’s. wonder if you can do P90X in your jammies to lessen the sting of having to work out on your rest day. holding a cookie of course.

    i might be on to something here…


    • Jackie April 17, 2011 at 12:52 am #

      While food is always a great motivator, I fear cookie-eating while I work out would impede results. And quite frankly, if I don’t start seeing some of those soon I’m throwing in the towel.


  6. Lian April 13, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    Oh how I love hanging out around the house in my pajamas! Sometimes I take a day when I don’t have to get out at all and just don’t change, stay all day in my lovely pajamas 🙂 The rewarding yourself a cookie really works for me when I have to get something done. Great post again Jackie!


    • Jackie April 17, 2011 at 12:51 am #

      Me toooo – is that wrong of us? To just dwell indoors, comfy and self-satisfied? Because those are some of my favorite moments.


  7. Meanwhile, back at the ranch... April 13, 2011 at 6:43 pm #

    Oh my gosh, when I was working on my taxes at home, Braveheart was on, I was in my fuzzy slippers and I’m pretty sure I was drinking.
    But I still felt dumb…oh well.
    You’re hilarious BTW.


    • Jackie April 17, 2011 at 12:50 am #

      Oh. Well I’ve been running out of ideas for posts, so I’ve begun to stalk others and blog about their lives.

      That’s a creepy joke. I take it back. I’m glad we’re of kindred spirit 🙂 Thanks so much for the compliment!


  8. Seasweetie April 14, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    Everything is better in pajamas and with cookies – well, almost everything (at least when it comes to the pajamas.)

    Thanks for your blog – you make me laugh every morning.


    • Jackie April 17, 2011 at 12:49 am #

      Wow, thanks Sea. I’m so glad you tune in. And yes – I find that most of what ails me can be cured with cotton clothes and food.


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