Thursday, April 15, 2010

Touched by the Tax Man, Ignored by an Angel

No, I didn't take this picture of this boxer -- whose lack of cropped ears and giant black eyes make him (her) look more like a space alien than an Earth dog.

However, he looks similar to the one I being walked by a lady that I encountered along the sidewalk of Columbia Rd. while walking in Adams Morgan this morning heading to the FedEx copy shop to xerox 2010 tax returns (mine, not the dogs, see below).


This has been a mentally exhausting and depressing week. I completed my taxes, or at least finished enough of them to submit them minus the penalties I will owe. I simply could not figure out the IRS Form 2210. I determined that I owe $1,587.31 -- using $2,000 rather than $2,500 in deductions on my Schedule C - EZ -- on my Federal taxes and $171 in D.C. taxes.

I included a somewhat lengthy (four page) hand written letter of explanation in both (not that it will do any good) and a IRS Form 9465 Installment Request. I also did not include a check to D.C. since (1) I can't pay the $171 amount (much less the $1,587.31), and (2) I want to see if the IRS accepts this and, as a corollary, what the penalty will be.

Recall my income in 2009 was $2565.36 in regular wages and $12,682.50 in contracting "1099-Misc" income for a combined total of $15,247.86.

I deducted the $2,000 from the 1099-Misc income based on $50/month for internet, $50/month for a portion of my telephone, $40/month for transportation and $320 in miscellaneous computer / office expenses, so my total income was $13,247.86 and my adjusted gross income --after subtracting $754.69 for the half self-employment tax -- was a n un-whopping $12,493.17.

The 1800 block of California Street, NW, Washington, D.C., 10:11Am, April 15, 2010. The building with the turret like structure is The Crescent.

California Street is only one of two state-named thoroughfares in D.C. that is not "avenue," the other being Ohio Drive. The original Ohio Ave. ceased to exist and Ohio Drive is a separate road, while on old maps, California Street was sometimes shown as California Avenue. Not sure why it changed.


The computer stuff doesn't include the new one my mom bought me since that was in Jan. 2010 -- and, besides, she bought it for me and I would not claim it as an expense.

My income was down from $28,874 in 2008 but higher than the $49 (yes, $49) in 2007. Now it is true that I had a lot of student loan refund money during those years on which to live, so these figures are a bit misleading. The highest amount I ever earned was in 2003 when I came in at $45,911. In 2002 I earned $40,110. I've never earned above $40,000 but for those two years, and at this rate, I never will.

Maybe the IRS will contest my deductions and I'll owe closer to $2,000. Or maybe they'll just contest everything and I'll owe millions, or even billions of dollars, and I'll be thrown into jail, or this being America where freedom is "on the grow."

I was honest as I could be on the taxes but that will only make it worse for me.

View to the north on a warm, electric green spring day from the Duke Ellington Bridge across a small part of the "great green gash" (I read that description of it somewhere) of Rock Creek Park that splits D.C. north-to-south.


Most of my friends and other people I know including an ex-friend earn 5 ... 10 ... 20 ... even 30+ times higher than that. I'm SO happy for all of them, esp. the 30+ one.

Remember that everything on this frickin' planet in this frickin' reality is EXACTLY as it should be at all times. This is, after all, the Best of All Possible Worlds.

Random internet picture of the Grand Tetons.

I'm also supposed to finish another of the biweekly climate change news compendiums that have been my mainstay for the past six months at my contracting job, except my supervisor is away in Japan. I just can't seem to get started on it.

Then there is another 30 page do-or-die report due. I'm so tired of this, esp. given that in the end I'm going to owe so much in taxes.

The Census job may lower my 2010 burden a bit because I'm actually paying a rather high tax amount per check right now. It would sort of balance out a bit better next year.


Pearls Before Swine, April 15, 2010

Click on image for larger version.


As for the Census job, we finished preparing for the big group quarters enumeration at American University. The actual enumeration occurs on Sunday evening during an end-of-semester mandatory residence hall meeting, and I am the lead enumerator for one of the dorms. The group I'm in is a strange and disparate one that doesn't really seem to get along as a whole.

I arrived somewhat late (almost 2 hours) as I didn't leave my apt. until 10AM (which is early for me) and I had to go to the FedEx copy center on Adams Mill Rd. in Adams Morgan to make copies of my tax return and other forms and letter, and thereafter to the post office.

This is the Hampton P. Denman House at 1623 16th Street, NW, Washington, D.C., 5:36PM, April 15, 2010. This is an example of a Richardsonian Romanesque structure. The Green Door halfway house is located there today.


To go to a post office that was on my way to AU, I got on the Metro at Woodley Park and off at Van Ness Metro and walked up the never-ending upward incline between Connecticut and Wisconsin Avenues along Van Ness Street, NW, and thence a block over to the post office. The lady at the counter charged me $1.99 too much for a big envelope -- she charged me for three instead of two. My total came to $8.07 with postage. I pointed this out and she corrected it -- except she refunded me $1.05, or one postage equivalent, not the $1.99 for the envelope. I didn't even bother to try to correct this but just left and walked over to AU.

There were so many beautiful young people at AU -- the college boys were so hot and I feel so old. It was always like that at UMCP as well.

This house at the corner of R and 16th Street, Washington, D.C. -- on the southeast side of the intersection -- has always been my favorite, esp. at night when there is a light emerging from that turret.


Speaking of doing census enumerations, the little hippos featured on the Hippograms blog were all properly enumerated, as explained here. I love that blog. Whoever the blogger is, he lives within, like, half a mile of me here in D.C.

Random internet picture of a jack-in-the-pulpit, also known by the less poetic name of a bog onion.

Anyway, I'm home in my wee apartment now writing by lamp light with the window a/c (thank God for that window a/c) humming and the place feeling cool (actually, it is rather cool) and comfortable -- so much so that I want to sleep.

On TV is one of the 18 or so episodes per day of The Golden Girls reruns that I watch between We TV and Hallmark Channel.


The weather is warm and springlike with too much pollen in the air and only one chance of rain in the next five days (that would be tomorrow night and it is only 40 percent). This pattern could easily morph into a hot, humid, drought-dry one of the D.C. sort I hate so much. Today temps were in the low 70s F for highs.


I can't even begin to watch Olbermann or Maddow tonight.

I think I'll just stick with another episode of Touched by an Angel. My dad HATED that show when it was on (not sure what he thinks of it now -- I'll ask him the next time we talk on the phone). I remember once we were in a dump of a motel in Tampa, Florida and it was on and he yelled something to the effect, "THERE'S GOT TO BE BIG MONEY INTEREST PUSHING THIS PROGRAM!"

OK, I think I just better sign off for now, Gentle Reader.



Rita said...

Well, gosh! I just had my taxes done and guess what? If you work for other people as a regular employee & not an independent contractor you get money back!!!!
Yay! I think I'm liking this. No more independent contracting shit for me.
Sorry about your loss...

Rita said...

BTW, I like the photos taken on your new camera...

к.нео.физ.де.му said...

i like the hippo blog too...

there was this blog - a few year back in russian-speaking part of livejournal - written from a cat's point of view...

every entry ended with the cat peeing in some new, unexpected to and loved by the human owner place/object...

as an owner of a diabetic cat that is prone to peeing where ever hi wants - i kinda used to get a kick out of reading that blog...


Regulus said...

Gee, Rita, that clears things up for me.

Mike -- I think I'll stick with a plush hippo blog.

By the way, do you think the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano (I'll give you 260 Icelandic krona if you can pronounce it. That comes to about $2) will affect global climate? It's my understanding that the ash cloud really didn't penetrate the stratosphere but is in the upper troposphere.

Regulus said...


Rita said...

You're just being snarky now, right?
Well, no matter. You can't kill my good mood. :)

krzysztof said...

I hope the eruption won't have big impacts on climate. If I ever have to mention Eyjafjallajökull in a talk I'm screwed:-)