Apr. 8th, 2010 11:28 pm
nlbarber: (Default)
Good timing, for once.

My discount broker, TD Ameritrade, has periodic offers for people who add new assets either to their existing account or to a new one. Most of these promotions are not all that attractive to me, and I'm not often going to be moving money or stock around, anyway. Then came an email in February: move in assets, and get Apple or iTunes gift cards (three different levels, depending on the size of your deposit) or an iMac or Mac Book Pro if you move even more. *Apple fangirl squee* And the other bit of timing? We're moving money around as we work on settling my father's estate.

So: younger brother and I each qualified for the maximum amount of gift cards (I'm thinking iPad for mine), and the estate account got a free computer.

The Apple promotion ended March 31, and Tuesday I got an email for their new offer: golf clubs. I'm sure they are very nice golf clubs, but I haven't played golf since summer camp, ca. 1967.
nlbarber: (Default)
Somewhere in the confusion of the last month I decided to pay off my mortgage. It's been within reach of my available cash for a while, but I was content to let inertia hold and keep on taking the tax deduction on the interest. Then came the annual letter about the rate adjustment (down, of course), and how they were adjusting the payment down as well. Previous times this happened I was able to go online, find the well-hidden links to the automatic debit system, and adjust the amount of extra payment on the principal to keep the overall payment level.

But this time... )
Oh, yay me! The house is all mine! And the cats', of course.
nlbarber: (Default)
Took most of the day off work (except an hour-long conference call and some time on email and Web pages) to work on taxes. I'd spent a chunk of Sunday on them, too, plus time last month doing some of the data entry. Things are particularly messy this year with the final dissolution of assorted family businesses--blessings on my younger brother for looking at the mess and laying out how he dealt with everything so I could copy it.

I've now printed everything for the final checking, which I'll do tomorrow when my brain is fresh. Bottom line is not as painful as last year, though I still hit the AMT. Plus I overpaid--a major sin in my books, as I hate giving the IRS a free loan. But I'm being conservative about my estimated payments until all this shifting due to the family stuff settles down.

It's now officially April 15...Tax Day. Grrrrr. I'm going to bed.
nlbarber: (Default)
I started the taxes Sunday night. I wanted to start earlier in the day, but Step 1, intall TurboTax on the iMac, proved difficult. It seems TT dropped support for OS X 10.3 this year, and I never upgraded the iMac beyond that. So, decided I could take it to 10.4 (not 10.5, as I would lose my recipe program that runs only in Classic mode if I went to Classic-less 10.5), and set off to buy the system upgrade. An hour and a half later I'd managed that--wandered through the Apple "Federal employees purchasing for themselves" store, found only the version showing was the multi-seat license, called the store support number and got someone who had the same problem and foisted me off on the main Tech Support line. Half an hour on hold, but then I got the very helpful Pete, who spent another half an hour finding the code for a single seat 10.4 (by looking in my purchase history for when I bought it for work) and then completing the purchase. No download available, so it was mailed and will be here next week, probably. I regret being so upright and not just finding an install CD at the office after all that.

Anyway, I temporarily installed TT on the work laptop, got the updates downloaded and installed, and got through the first blast of data entry (W-2, 1099s). I should be working on the one stock sale tonight, but I don't seem to have enough brain. Will wait until tomorrow...or later. Lots of time left, right? Except that the really messy stuff for this year's return is yet to come...
nlbarber: (Default)
I did file my taxes yesterday. This wasn't a foregone conclusion--sometime Sunday night when I was trying to answer TurboTax's prompts on the alternative minimum tax, I decided I should file for an extension and go find an accountant. But Monday night I printed out about 40 pages of the return and supporting statements, tracked where all then numbers came from, then looked again at the AMT questions. They made somewhat more sense then, and I think I got them answered more-or-less properly.

I did have to pay the AMT, which added another 15% to the tax bill. May that never happen again!

Tax break

Apr. 17th, 2006 08:44 pm
nlbarber: (Default)
Took a break from LJ remodeling updates to get the taxes done. I got them printed out about 11:00 last night, then got up this morning and checked them before e-filing the Federal return and heading to the office with the 4 envelopes with the checks (Federal and State 2005, Federal and State 1st quarter estimateds for 2006). more on filing...oh joy )

Having been good about the estimated payments for 2005, I didn't even have to fill out the form to try to avoid a penalty--I'd paid enough of what I owed during the year. That's the goal: pay enough to avoid a penalty, but also avoid giving the government an interest-free loan.
nlbarber: (Default)
It's...disconcerting...when one goes into the bank which one has entrusted with certain Very Important Documents, to be stored in a Safe Deposit Box, to find that said bank has lost the signature card for one's box and all the in/out slips as well.

Oh, they looked it up in the computer, verified that I am me with my driver's license, made a new signature card, and then let me into my box. Which seemed to have everything in it that it should. And I realize that I only get into the box once a year or so. But still...
nlbarber: (Default)
My gas was cut off yesterday, for I had not paid the bill for 2 months. It's from not a lack of funds, but a lack or organization: the emails telling me to go pay the bill didn't get dealt with until they were scrolled off the screen by other InBox mail, and I've been ignoring the paper copies I still get for some time. (Not that I throw them away--they pile up with other bills that are dealt with electronically, and then opened and filed every 6 months or so. Maybe every year or so. It depends on how harried I'm feeling that year.)

So, last night I thought I had a furnace problem, 'cause it was blowing cold air. After consulting with my HVAC company, I decided to wait until this morning, when I could get a technician out for my spring service (already paid for), and have him diagnose the problem, too. It wasn't until this morning that something sparked the idea that maybe, perhaps, I could have missed paying Scana for the gas bill. A quick search turned up the unopened envelope with the last bill, which had the "Final Notice" warning on it.

I paid the overdue bills via the Web, and the $150 reconnection fee, the $50 deposit, and a $3 service charge to a third-party credit card firm, and then was allowed to call Atlanta Gas Light to schedule reconnection. (Love this deregulated gas industry: Scana is my marketer, and they just collect the money, or don't and issue the disconnection order. AGL connects, reconnects, deals with gas emergencies, etc.) It being the first of the month, and others having had their gas disconnected, too, AGL can't come today. Or tomorrow. I don't think they do this sort of service on Sunday, so they offered Monday. Problem is, I leave for Denver on Sunday night. Someone must be at home when they come to reconnect, to check pilot lights.

The result is that my sainted sister-in-law agreed to be available for the reconnection visit sometime on Wednesday, so I should have heat and hot water when I get home on Friday. Meanwhile, we're having unseasonably cold weather for April with lows in the 30's, so the house is about 60 degrees. I'm showering and will do the warm-water laundry next door, and I'll wash the minimum number of dishes by heating water in the microwave. And I've got a firm resolve to get a new handle on my finances: get my long-standing Quicken problem straightened out, and go back to having a regular weekly session with the bills and bookkeeping. Gah, I feel so DUMB!


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