Jan 20, 2007

Compacting Forms, Forms, & More Forms!

I just finished my federal taxes, killing about 12 trees in the process.
Why the hell I'm doing my taxes so early?
I need funding for graduate school and deadlines are March first!
Why the hell didn't I eFile?
I have my own business and another job, so I can't, unfortunately.
The initial forms are a only 8 pages, and of course I don't print out the instructions. I read them, just online. In fact, I read them several times. Outloud, inciting my roommate to declare, "You talk to yourself more than anyone I've ever met".
My roommate has not read the choose your own adventure that is the Lifetime Learning Credit form 8863. "If line 10 is equal to or greater than line 11, enter the amount from line 7 on line 13 and go to line 14. If line 10 is less than line 11, divide line 10 by line 11. Enter the result as a decimal (rounded to at least 3 places)." The first sentence was the only part I needed but the rest is just so over the top...

Even though I don't print out the instructions, I ineveitably maul the forms with my pitiful handwriting. But I keep these as my copies at least. I am always thrilled (ha) to fill out the FAFSA (Federal Application for Financial Student Aid) online, wow that's easier than taxes. Likewise my grad school apps were entirely online, even my reference forms. Encouraging.

The Paperwork Reduction Act is like the U.S. government's attempt at the compact. Poor trees.


Sebas said...

I agree with Compact People from all over the World

Bogalusan said...

You can still efile, even if you aren't eligible for the short form and no others. Might cost a couple dollars. TurboTax among others offers this service, and you can do it completely online without buying their software. The IRS site has a list of places. Some banks offer it also.

I have been filing online for years, self employed, long 1040, etc. Last year it cost me about $30.

rachel said...

as soon as i read your comment i realized that i probably got the "efile for free" info confused as "who can efile" instead. Drat! this was the first year that i had this business so i was a bit overwhelmed w/ all the options/responsibilities.

Bogalusan said...

rachel -

It would drive me nuts if I didn't do it online. The calculations are done automatically.

Having to pay $30 probably doesn't count as buying nothing, but at least it's using less paper.

You got an email from me, from my 'tallerthinner' Yahoo account.

Sandra said...

Weirdly enough, the IRS "paperwork reduction act" often resulted in one MORE page to each form, explaining why you have to use the form. INSANE.