Thursday, March 12, 2009

Taxes 2008

This post is analogous to last year's tax post.

Taxes for 2008 turned out to be much simpler than last year for the following reasons:
  • I only lived in one state, and so did not need to split my income.

  • I closed one of my accounts to pay for the down payment on my house in 2007, so I no longer have to worry about all those forms and trades. That account had tons of trading activity.

  • I was familiar with which sites I needed to log in to in order to get various 1099 forms - mainly Countrywide.

  • TurboTax imported last year's return so I didn't have as much data entry on my personal information.

I was actually fairly pleased with TurboTax. It still had a few problems (there was no official way to enter short sales [such as cash-secured puts], so I'm not sure I did that right, but the total profits/losses are correct), but was improved from last year overall.

In addition to TurboTax, I used Kansas' WebFile page to e-file my Kansas return. I basically just entered things in line by line from the form TurboTax generated, but didn't have to print it out or mail it. I think that will be the more environmentally friendly route, plus get me my refund sooner.

Speaking of refunds, I get big refunds! From the federal government, I get $5397 back, and I get $854 from Kansas. Governments, you're welcome for the 0% loans over the last year! Please place money in my savings account soon.

What will I do with all that money? Well, you should read this post on things I want to buy, and this post on mortgage refinancing, all while keeping in mind that a cash reserve is nice to have and build.

Why was my refund so large when I owed so much last year? Another list:
  • This was my first full year of paying my mortgage, which means a full year of mortgage interest deducted.

  • This year sucked for investments, so I had no realized capital gains. I'd rather pay taxes than not be building wealth, though.

  • This was my first full year of paying property taxes, which are deductible.

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