Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tax Time is a Big Headache!!

Can I tell you that tax time is a big headache?

Can I tell you that I have been sitting on my PC trying to do them today, but have spent the majority of the day on the phone with the IRS, Banks, etc trying to get it done?

Can I tell you I want to pull my hair out, that I am...at this moment...screaming into thin air, and that I have decided the IRS is as clueless as I am?????

OK..I am done with my rant. My problems lie in the fact that all those Bank Offers I received, revenue I earned from Affiliates, Refer a Friend programs, Online Offers, etc did not send me the required forms. When I call them, they tell me I don't have to pay taxes on the bonuses earned.

But, when I read Pub. 550 from the IRS, they say I do. I call the Banks to ask for their Federal ID number to do my taxes, and they tell me they did not provide the documentation so I don't have to pay taxes? Hmmm....somehow that is not how I think it works.

So, if my tax forms get lost in the mail...yippee for me, I don't have to pay taxes? I mean, that could be my defense on everything. I didn't get my tax forms!!

Needless to say, the IRS told me I do need to pay and they did should have sent me forms. Funny how 4 Banking Institutions did not send me my forms!!

So, anyway, I finally determined from the IRS ( and by the way, I am keeping their name and ID number on file in case I ever get questioned...so they know I diligently tried to be honest here ), that I do pay taxes and I don't need their ID number ( this is just something required in Tax Software and not by the IRS ).

In regards to Online Offers, they finally gave me a "good" answer on that, as well, and deducting my offers I signed up for, etc. Yay! I think I know what I am doing finally!

So, onward I go in filing my taxes. Maybe I will have them done by the 15th.

Thankfully....my parents agreed to keep my kids overnight so I could work on this all day. So, they are having a great day with Grandma/Grandpa on their Spring Break. And, thankfully, I got to take them to the Children's Museum with their cousins yesterday so I got to spend some quality time with them on Spring Break. ( By the way, it is freezing and has snowed today..in OHIO..have I mentioned that? )

Anyway...sorry for venting online...but hey, it was kind of fun and made me feel a bit better!!

And, if you still haven't done your taxes yet, here are some great companies to consider for Free. I am currently using Tax Act, so I will let you know if I get thru the whole process successfully or not. So far, I like the software, and it has been easy to use.

Here are a few other choices for free. As I have mentioned previously on my site, always start in the free version and if you require a "paid" version, it will prompt you.

Well, I hope your taxes are already done, and I hope someone else did them besides you ( why won't my husband ever do ours? ) or I hope you made out and got accepted for one of those great Mystery Shopping tax locations. Oh, how I wish I had been accepted!!

But, beyond everything else, I hope you are not as frustrated as I was today! :-)

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Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear you had such a hard time with your taxes! Did you end up treating your online offer money as self-employment income or just miscellaneous income?


Kelly said...


Tax time is frustrating! Good luck finishing it up and getting some answers. We had to track down our info from several banks this year instead of them sending it to us.

I am really interested in how Online Offers would impact taxes. Do you think you could do a separate post detailing some of that? Like how to deduct the offers you sign up for (why are they deductions, BTW?) and how much you are actually taxed on a $500 GC from an online offer? Actually, the fear of issues at tax time has prevented me from trying to complete one yet.


Andrea @ Mommy Snacks.net said...

I'm so thankful my FIL did our taxes!!! But, now I still have to do my city taxes and that will be just pure joy I'm sure!!

BTW - never did get a form from Logical Media. But, they did give me their tax information so I still claimed it. I don't want Uncle Sammy sayin' I didn't when I did...the joys of behing a *work* at home momma now!

Anonymous said...

The rule of thumb with 1099 forms is that if you made less than $600 the institution/company isn't required to send you a form. But, you still do have to pay taxes (bummer!). So, just make sure you're keeping track!


Donna@www.frugaldonna.blogspot.com said...

Good luck with the taxes...Hopefully you can get alot accomplished without kids. So relieved ours are done...good luck!
We're in Ohio too...major bummer on the snow yesterday. It's still cold today!

Lori said...

glad to hear you're moving in the right direction!!! I didn't get any 1099s either but figured out the income on my own to make sure I was being legal!! still need to file them though. hopefully tonite or tomorrow!!

Camille said...

You don't need the 1099s -- just report the income on Line 21 of the 1040 or Line 7 of the 1040A. Just add what you earned to the W-2s and 1099s you do have. Keep the check stubs or whatever proof you have of the income with your tax return. This is the IRS way of allowing you to report income that does not necessarily have a paper trail.

Sorry you spent so much time on that as it is a pretty simple fix! :-)

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...

Since I have been doing Online Offers for 3 years now, making approx, $20K, they said it is no longer a hobby and now a business.

In addition, since I want to deduct expenses for it and it rolls into what I am teaching on my site as a business...they said to claim it all together as my Money Saving Methods business...hope that is right. :-)

What the IRS told me in regard to deducting expenses is that any of the expenses related to the offers I could deduct that were REQUIRED.

So, basically, any of the trials, the postage to have the trial sent and any postage to return it, etc is deductible.

If I decide to keep an offer ( and it wasn't required ) then that portion of the expense is NOT deductible.

In regards to Nuitech, where you are required to remain a member for 60 days..meaning you have to purchase things, etc...then that IS deductible because it is required to receive my revenue.

Basically, it boils down to what was REQUIRED for that specific offer to get the gift.

So, it will be slightly different from company to company.

But, as usualy, the IRS wasn't positive. It took me 3 people before they could come up with that answer. And, it is the same very year....no one ever knows.

A few years ago, I took it to Jackson Hewitt as part of a Mystery Shop, and went thru the whole process...set my appointment up...got thru the most of my taxes when we got to all my 1099-MISC forms. Then, they had no idea.

They told me I would need to come back and they would have to bring a manager in to help me. So, I had to reschedule.

What????? Crazy. I was so annoyed, because I had found a sitter, etc to go get these taxes done. What do you mean you don't know how to do taxes??

In regards to how much taxes you have to pay, that is hard to tell. It is all going to depend on what tax bracket you are in...if you file jointly or not, etc.

Will this extra money push you over into a new tax bracket or not? Etc, etc, etc. There is no clear cut answer to this.

In addition, when you start filing Online Offers as a business instead of Misc Income, you are now having to pay Social Security taxes, etc, that you don't need to pay as Misc Income.

But, you can't deduct expenses if Misc. Income. So, there is give and take from what I can tell.

For me, it is definitely a business now that I have this website, so I really have no choice anymore on how to file it.

But, as in all things taxes, etc..I advise you call the IRS or talk to a tax professional if you have questions on how to handle Online Offers revenue.

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SavinMaven said...

I'm struggling a bit too. I have little bits of revenue from a scattering of companies. I had to sign in to multiple accounts and verify my rewards. The online tax prep program I used wasn't cooperating. LOL

BTW Many of those tax prep agents are seasonal employees who just finished training. Nothing wrong with that, but it explains why they have trouble with certain things. If you find a preparer you like, be sure to request her when you make your appointment for next year.

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...

Yep, you are right. I had a friend that would work at H&R Block every year, who had no previous experience in taxes, accounting, etc. High School graduate, but no further education ( except H&R Block provided ).

Basically, my view is they are typing the same details into a computer program that I can do on my own.

But, I have to wonder about the people answering the IRS hotline? Are they the same? Minimal training? I would have thought a bit more, but I don't know. I would be curious to find out.

Anonymous said...

After what I have been seeing in the news, I thought all I had to do was change my political affiliation and that I could then just not pay my taxes. Oh wait, someone like me would go directly to jail so I guess that won't work either.

We are Turbo Tax folks at our house. I insist that my hubby do it since he has the business/finance degree. Me? I am responsible for keeping the records as my part.

The tax code is so many pages deep now that the left hand doesn't know what the right hand just wrote and heaven help us if we have a strange situation like MAKING MONEY OUT OF THIN AIR!

We ended our frustration several weeks ago and have the refund safely in our savings account.

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...

LOL..too funny. Somehow these politicians get to help govern our nation but yet they get caught not paying their appropriate taxes.
It is quite interesting!

Evelyn said...

How do you report the survey money?

Suz said...

I'm just getting started with affiliates (actually signed up last winter) & it's slow going at this point with no revenue checks yet. I assume I don't claim the revenue until it's in my hands? What I earned last year was under the annual taxable amount so I wasn't worried about it.. but hope to gain some momentum this year, so need to be sure I do it right!
I've already set myself up as a business just to be ahead of the game and to be able to deduct expenses. Looking forward to seeing how it all goes!