You know, I used to be the model citizen. I kept immaculate records. Had a petty cash box in the house and an account in Quicken for balancing the petty cash. I tracked every expenditure and literally knew how much money I had down to the penny. Ok, that was a little Monk but I never missed or was late on a bill, I kept balances on my credit cards and always paid at least double the minimum, and I planned my taxes such that my return would be close to zero. I always filed early or on time. When my first business along with my first marriage collapsed, I slipped. I lost the will to do much of anything. When tax season came around my affairs were in such a confused state that I needed an accountant to straighten things out. Instead I simply didn’t file. The following year I had my act back together but assumed that since I didn’t file the previous year, I couldn’t file the consecutive year (a wrong assumption!). That was an expensive choice! And one I took a lesson from "always file even if the numbers are wrong or you can’t pay" As it turns out, had I filed those years I would have received some much needed relief both times. Now, the penalties on that first year alone will have me in a bind for the next couple of decades.
I’m back on the bandwagon. I don’t have a petty cash fund setup in my accounting software but order has been restored to the accounting side of my life. I finished my taxes on March 28 but waited to e-file until this Monday which was a mistake. So far my e-file has been rejected 3 times. The latest was that my adjusted gross income did not match last year’s return. After a lengthy stay on hold and some investigation, a nice IRS agent informed me that they never received my 2006 return! As it turns out, I tried to e-file last year and apparently was rejected (probably for some similar reasons this year had problems). I suppose in 3-5 years the IRS would have contacted me to explain that they did my 2006 taxes for me and that I owed $xx,xxx dollars. There has to be a better system than this!