A Taxing Day

Ahhh. A very productive Sunday. Jennifer took the kids while I wrote two columns and finished the taxes. I had done most of the Federal return some weeks ago. Enough to know we’d owe money and roughly how much. That stopped me. I had to do the rest of it this weekend to leave enough time to mail it in case the electronic filing didn’t take.
I used TurboTax this year – I probably should have hired a preparer, but I waited too long. I had to do it myself. The program’s good. I used TaxAct last year, and had tried it this year but it totally barfed on some of the more complicated parts of my return. TurboTax got it right. I think. I’m pretty sure anyway.

I filed electronically this afternoon. It’s even easier this year. Nothing at all to mail. And the Feds and the State can take their pound of flesh directly from my checking account on April 16.

We celebrated by going out for Chinese afterwards. Now Jennifer and I are ready for a stay-at-home date, watching a video of Wonder Boys. I really loved the novel by Michael Chabon, and I’m looking forward to seeing the movie. Hope I can keep my eyes open.

27 Replies to “A Taxing Day”

  1. So sorry to take things off course. This was my first post on Leo’s site and it turns out that I have become the target of some minor flaming. Sorry for my personal opinions. I’ll leave the Chinese alone now. How much tax do you think the Chinese pay by the way? More than us? What is the cost of freedom anyway. With the recent tax cuts, does that mean less freedom? Wow, am I ranting!!! Sorry Leo. On the subject of immigration, do you think China would allow the Americans to immigrate into their nation? Would any of us even want to???
    Back to the subject now. I apologize for the ranting.

  2. So, Leo, how did you like “Wonderboys”?
    I think it was one of the best and funniest movies of last year. Unfortunately, it had no “Oscar buzz” or help from marketing, so it went widely unnoticed. The last few minutes where he loses his grand opus because Robert Downey goes bonkers in the car they barrowed is the funniest freakin’ thing I’ve seen in a while! Laughed and laughed and laughed. The only time I probably laughed more was when John Travolta did that “Face/Off” thing with his hand so we’d know what the title of the movie was. That wasn’t intentional, however . . . just really stupid.
    That’s all I had to post. I really hope you enjoyed “Wonderboys” and if I can offer up any others, if you haven’t seen them already, I’d have to offer “Almost Famous,” “Meet the Parents,” Jesus’ Son,” “Requiem for a Dream,” “Kikujiro,” and if you dig “Shower.” I think “Requiem . . .” isn’t out until May, but check it out when you can. A great, if a bit gruesome, film.
    Take it easy,
    –Kris

  3. Bandon-
    Thanks for the info. I was running window 2000 without a hitch for 2 weeks only to find out my viedo cam gave up on supporting drivers for windows 2000, and will not in the future. SO after enjoying the ROCK SOILD OS, I had to install win me (*ack*) though I have windows 2000 still on other partiton….Guessif I get rid of the cam I can go back to 2000.
    I am not going to enjoy the XP situation at all. They will probably be seeing a great loss of sales, though I think it will come pre-instaled on new computers.
    I have been looking over at Linux for a while now…. Always like to try things out…but It wont be WIN XP !
    Again, Thanks Brandon !

  4. Leo, you make tons of cash and do your OWN tax return? Are you sure that’s a good idea? I mean, you’re in the big leagues and all.
    While it’s rather charming to hear, I would think you’d want your accountant and/or lawyer involved. (None of my business but Hey, you brought it up.)
    As to Eddie’s ‘Boycott Chinese food’ plan, come on. What do local merchants have to do with the Chinese army/government? Even Chinese who live THERE aren’t happy with things. Why penalize immigrant family-run operations?
    — Brandon
    (NOT Clark OR the other third Brandon with the e-mail address)

  5. I’ve moved well beyond egg rolls. I’m into noodles of various kinds these days. (Chow Fun, Chow Mei Fun, even Lo Mein when pressed.)
    I can certainly agree with stopping TRADE, but why immigration? Legal immigration is a very cool thing. It’s how most of us got here…
    Okay, now I’m going to yank this steering wheel hard and try to let the thread get back ON TOPIC…
    So, speaking of taxes, what IS the deal where only a single company has the rights to allow you to pay IRS taxes by credit card, and they keep something like a 5 percent commission?? What is up with that?
    — Brandon

  6. Leo,
    Been a huge fan since Soledad and the ZDTV days. Sorry to hear that you are supporting the Chinese Americans by eating Chinese. I myself am laying off the egg rolls until this thing “blows over”.
    Keep up the good work. You have been a mentor of mine for the past few years. I work tech support for a “major direct” computer manufacturer. I get scores of calls for help each day. I often use tips I’ve aquired by watching your shows.
    RE: Taxes – I finally dropped mine off last week at the CPA for him to prepare them. You should have seen the look on his face when I dropped them off 9 days before D-Day. If looks could kill!
    Peace on Earth. I want my eggrolls!
    Ed

  7. leo –
    you show the segment with the tax lady way back in feburary. what were you waiting for? i did mine the next day after i saw the show. i already got both returns back already. i also really liked filling electronically.
    rick

  8. Joining the League of Procrastinators eh Leo? Heh, I’m already there. With School work, and that’s bad too. Well, I hope your Tax stuff turn’s out ok.
    Oh before I go I have one last question…
    What type of Chineese food do you recomend and why? 🙂
    Dan S

  9. You’re welcome! Glad it actually helped.
    Webcams are relatively cheap, so if that’s your ONLY issue with Win2K you might want to get another one.
    Hmm, going to Linux. You think you’ve got driver availability issues NOW…
    — Brandon
    P.S. Actually I read that Progeny Debian does a pretty good job at prug and pray. But many hardware manufacturers are excruciatingly slow to create Linux drivers or allow others to write them…

  10. Leo,
    I have a question I just can’t seem to get a straight answer to.
    Maybe you can help…..
    You mentioned on here and on Screensavers that you run windows 9x and windows 2000 on a dual boot setup. Why?
    What would you rather run on windows 2000 and not on windows 9x ?
    I was just wondering why you have a dual boot system.
    I have both copies of windows and wondering how to use them to my advantage
    Hey, Thanks in advance.
    Eric

  11. My procrastination on my income taxes reached an all-time high last year when, instead of just finishing my return, I filed for an extension on the very last day (I believe it was the 17th). Then, in August, I finally finished the thing and got it to the P.O. at 4:55 PM, yes, on the very last day of the extension period. I have no defense – but I share this little snippet because Leo at least is doing his on time. Better yet, there’s no state income tax where I live – I had just one little federal 1040 and I still couldn’t get my rear in gear. I know I’m far from alone in doing that, but I just had to confess. (thank you for listening) I do agree that Leo “Mr. Big Star” Laporte doing his own return instead of sending it out does have that folksy charm that we have come to love so well. :o)
    About the home-cam pic of you doing those very same taxes, Leo – I’m way intrigued by the office. Near as I can tell, you’ve got a sheepskin cover on the chair and you are storing your neckties on the window. Is that a Feng Shui thing or just a personal preference? 😛
    And who is Jennifer? Obviously a very lucky woman, indeed. We know you’re taken Leo, so how’d you feel about putting up a little DNA to make another one or two of you? We can add you to this list:
    14 Men We Would Clone
    http://underwire.msn.com/underwire/social/spotLight/78spotLight.asp
    Obviously my objectives are far more personal than philanthropic, but a girl’s gotta dream, right? :o)
    Extensible Markup Smooches,
    Jeannette

  12. I assume jennifer is your wife. I’d like to see some recent pix of your family. I’ve heard you talk about your wife and kids. Lets see what they look like. Look forward to more of your famous pix.

  13. To Eric re: Win2K/Win9x — if you don’t know why you’d want to run both, perhaps you’d be better off just running Windows 98 — it’s more compatible with older hardware and works better with some games.
    Windows 2000 is Windows NT, which is more “robust” since it’s a real operating system, rather than a DOS-based shell kludge like Windows 3.1/95/98/98SE/ME.
    “Robust” means that it should crash a LOT less than Windows 9x, and it should handle memory a lot better. Its memory and CPU requirements are higher, however, and keep in mind that there are programs and hardware that will NOT work well with Windows 2000, at least until new drivers are released.
    If you have all new hardware, you’re probably better off with Windows 2000 in the long run, unless you are a “hard core gamer”. Even then I understand Win2K is competitive now.
    In short, you don’t HAVE to dual boot unless YOU have programs or needs that can only be met by switching between the two operating environments.
    Lastly, by all means avoid Windows XP — it will repeatedly call back to Microsoft’s servers as you use it over time. If you care about freedom and privacy, prepare to switch to Linux at some point in the future. Progeny Debian Linux has just been released, and I understand that either that or Mandrake would be a good choice for beginners. Good luck.
    — Brandon

  14. Leo,
    I know I am off topic here, but since I know you won’t open an attachment if I send it to you; I decided to post it here instead for you to look at. I stumbled across a cute animated graphic that would be cool for “Leo’s Boot Camp.” I found it at http://www.animfactory.com, which is a free clip art website. If you click on my name, it will take you to the image. Enjoy!

  15. Sorry, forgot to mention the name of the book, “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.” (for the Michael Chabon fans)

  16. As far as my boycott of Chinese Food. That was all in jist. However, I do wish that we can solve this problem without making a big PuPu platter out of those innocent people of China. I do think that we need to halt all immigration of Chinese until further notice. We have enough problems with our own people. “President Zemin, tear down that wall” End Communism once and for all.
    Peace Brandon. Enjoy your egg rolls.

  17. The Chinese pilot who ran into the american plane was notorious (sp?) for comming up VERY close to american planes. He even made up a big card with his e-mail address and flashed it out the window at other american planes. And they want an apology from us?
    Ted in Cow Town Dakota

  18. I don’t think the Chinese (nationals) are going to be disappointed with people not eating Chinese (food). Chinese (food) isn’t even Chinese (food). I may be wrong, but PBS/Discovery/some other info channel had a show about the history of Chinese (food), and it’s purely American (melting pot).

  19. Wonder Boys is a GREAT movie despite Michael Douglas. I mean his acting is good but he doesn’t sound like a good person.

  20. What? You’ve got the wrong Brandon. As I’ve taken pains to point out, I am NOT Brandon Clark nor the other third Brandon who posted his e-mail address. I just sign in as “– Brandon”… and other than an early episode of Emeril Live I’ve never been on TV.
    So who was?
    — Brandon

  21. Shalom Leo!
    We put off our taxes until the last minute also. I don’t know why. We don’t make big bucks, so we usually get a nice refund. Oh well. I guess it’s just one of those things we like to put off until tommorrow.

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