Stress taxing me for my new endeavor

Stress . . .
It is hitting me more and more lately, particularly since I decided to do my own taxes for the first time in my life and not pay out nearly $300 to have a professional do the work.

I made under $55,000 last year. That’s the cutoff for a Pennsylvania assistance program for those of us over a certain age. I got a small pension payment per month and a distribution from my IRA fund which I was required to take. The only other funds I will report are from Social Security. I hope I can get the assistance from someone who knows what they’re doing.

I Don’t Know What I Am Doing.

I hate to admit it, but I got scared when I read the thick catalog put out by the IRS and made available at the local library. I must have miscalculated something because my initial review stated I owed more than $7,000 in taxes. $7,000! I never owed that much even in my most productive working years.

stress me.jpg

My wife had done our taxes until she suffered a traumatic brain injury more than 10 years ago. I had the tax preparation done by H&R Block the over the next several years.

But she had transitioned some two years ago and I decided to grow up and be less dependent on others, particularly when I hear that so many people do their own taxes.


Hell, I got an A in tax law while in law school. I also got an A-Plus in Trusts and Estates, securing an award for the highest grade in that class. In addition, I  got another A in Secured Transactions.

What I wanted to practice, however, was labor law which I got a D-Plus and settled for practicing criminal law where I had gotten a combined average of a C-Plus.

I hope I do the government right through my meager effort to do my duty. You see  I don’t mind paying taxes for the benefit of everyone in our country. I just don’t want to be audited for some stupid mistake or miscalculation.

Wish me luck and pray that I don’t end up like an Al Capone for evading something or other.

16 comments on “Stress taxing me for my new endeavor

  1. […] My tax fears were quenched and my stress almost magically taken away! (See my previous story: Stress taxing me). […]


  2. contoveros says:

    The following comments were provided on Facebook:

    Janet Mather
    May the Force be with you! Seriously. I hate trying to think about that stuff. 🤗🤗


    I can’t wait until I file the somb*tch

    Janet Mather
    Patricia Muronoff Kalafut
    Good luck! You are braver than I am.

    I’m not brave, I am just cheap. I don’t want to pay out hundreds of dollars each year for something that others do routinely and never get audited for. Wish me luck!

    Andrea Hornett
    Michael J Contos go to AARP at a senior center or local library. It’s free. My first year with them and it’s awesome. Love having somebody else do my taxes.

    Thanks for the advice. I can use all the help I can get.
    Luba Schmid
    All done as of yesterday! Yippee!

    You lucky so-and-so!
    I am envious . . . But also hopeful!
    Beth York
    I know! It’s scary. I want to go live in a cave and avoid all taxes.

    Beth York
    I just pay a good tax preparer and save myself the stress. I consider it an investment in mental health care. But a cave sounds good on some days.
    Diane Hamilton Burrus Pomponi

    Holy Moly, Mike! Three hundred dollars???? You can get Turbo Tax for about $50 for the simplest program. I’ve been using Turbo Tax for the past nine years and I have a rental property to include, along with our social security, pensions and an annuity. It’s so simple. They walk you through everything, step by step, and it takes about an hour for me. I also do my dad’s taxes the same way. You can e-file both your federal and state taxes and have your refund deposited directly into your bank account. We started doing it after we found out Bob’s accountant was not only charging an excessive fee, but was not getting us our full refunds. I ended up having to file amended tax returns for three previous years and getting thousands of $$$$ that we should have received during those years. When you save the info on your computer, the latest program will review what you did the previous year and compare it to what you’re doing the current year and will input all the relevant info so that you don’t have to begin from scratch, again. I highly recommend Turbo Tax. We got our refund deposited into our account in about ten days.

    It sound as if you could write a success story about your tax experience.

    My wife had used Turbo Tax before her accident. I am simply afraid that I would muck it up without having a person — a real live person — sitting next to me advising me how to do it. It seems so scary like I’m a kid again and feel the Boogie man’s under my bed. The Boogie Tax Man that is!

    Maybe I’ll try it in my next life when I am either a monk or a billionaire. But thanks for your advice and encouragement!

    Diane Hamilton Burrus Pomponi
    … uh … If you’re a monk, I doubt you’ll have any income worth reporting.
    And, if you’re a billionaire, you’ll have a whole tax department to enter your taxes for you.
    However, if you become a billionaire monk, you will . . .


    That’s the best advice I ever got on tax preparation for the future. 👍


    Sharon Sabrarose Ivanov
    I know 2 ppl who neglected to pay their taxes, both owed a lot, got audited & all the IRS did was make a monthly plan w/ them to pay it back. And one of the ppl was a contractor that owed about a million dollars. Seems most audited ppl are sm. beans to the gov., so even if you make a mistake or “forget” to pay, they just make you pay it back in installments. But I forgot to ask the 2 ppl if there were any financial penalties… OX


    “In this world nothing is certain except death and taxes.” — Ben Franklin

    I wonder if he ever fretted about ‘em when he worked as a printer or some other taxing job?


  3. I wish I could help you!!! Pre-retirement, I was Manager of Systems, Networking, and Diaster Recovery… with that said, I could not do my own taxes!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • contoveros says:

      why are we so gifted in some areas but so lost in other ones? Maybe it’s left brain versus right brain stuff that attracts and repels us. Who knows. It’s quite taxing at times! (I couldn’t help but use that pun . . .)


  4. Hi Carmen. Membership is very reasonable, although I don’t recall exactly how much off hand. AARP also offers so many other resources and they are excellent Washington DC advocates for the 55+ demographic. They fight the good fight to make sure resources are available. So worth it.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. inhiscare753 says:

    Free Tax Return Preparation for Veterans

    The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Programs offer free tax help for taxpayers who qualify — and they want to be sure that eligible local veterans also benefit frm this service.

    The VITA Program generally offers free tax help to people who make $50,000 or less and need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation to qualified individuals in local communities. They can inform taxpayers about special tax credits for which they may qualify such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled. VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations.

    Most locations also offer free electronic filing. Find a VITA site near you or call 1-800-906-9887.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Here’s what I’d like to share — doing your own taxes is HARD. Be kind to yourself. It has nothing to do with how smart you are — the tax laws change regularly and it’s difficult unless you keep up with it on a regular basis. That”s the first thing — yes, be kind to yourself about this! And second, if you’re part of a union (I’m part of SAG – the screen actors guild) they may provide services that do your taxes for free and/or guide you through the process. The local library may also have resources on where you could have someone else assist you or do them for you, free of charge. I do applaud your effort 100% — And lastly, here is the website where you could do your own taxes for free online. I’m not sure about state, but read on here and see if this might be a good resources to help walk you through. — oh, and before anyone asks, I do NOT do taxes. However, I have handled people’s millions of dollars and being a financial adviser, I have had to prepare reports for tax season and the like so…. I get the stress 100%. Be kind to yourself. At the end of the day – and I say this seriously – it’s only money. It is not the most important thing in the world. I’ll keep you in prayer for sure that you don’t let this stress you out any further and that you find a way through it easily! Hugs.


    • contoveros says:

      What a union. I wish The Newspaper Guild would have provided that type of service when I worked on a newspaper. My first wife did our taxes when we were married for some eight years. My second wife did it when I got divorced and hooked up with her. I can’t remember what I did in between or before I was drafted in the army. I know those of us in combat were exempt from paying taxes.

      I am amazed at the amount of attention a story about taxes could generate. It is not a sexy or meditative topic and some people would say it’s rather boring and repelling. But it hits a nerve all of us tax-paying patriots focus on at least once a year. Thanks for the encouragement!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi, Michael. Tax time can certainly be stressful. We did our own this year, too. However, the past 4 years we had them done for free by AARP. We are members, but you don’t have to be. Check out their website to find a location near you where they are setting up AARP tax preparers. The guy we had all four years was fantastic. Miss you. Hope you are well.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, that’s another great piece of advice. And isn’t the membership like $18 dollars for the year or something? Thanks Whimsy, I’m going to add that to my list of places people can do their taxes for free. GREAT information. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

    • contoveros says:

      The AARP was the first place I turned to get advice on doing taxes. Unfortunately, the library that offered the service in my area (Upper Merion Township) was booked up and I couldn’t get onto a waiting list.

      I finally got through to the Montgomery County VITA service and will meet up with someone in the next several weeks.

      I haven’t had this much stress in my life since getting my draft notice way back when! At least no one will be shooting at me this time . . .


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