Thursday, April 14, 2005

Goofy Girl Gets an Extension

No, not a hair extension, a tax extension. And it was a little too easy to do.

There was no begging, pleading, nor withdrawl of blood from turnips involved. There's a handy toll-free number (1-888-796-1074, if you're curious) that you call.

You punch in the basics, using your keypad, prompted by the friendly computerized voice:
-SSN
-Expected tax liability for 2004
-Tax 2004 payments made

...and bingo! You've got a 4-month extension from Uncle Sam.
Chords from the George Michael song "Freedom" echo in the background...

The hardest part of the whole deal was determining "Expected tax liability". Uh...how do I punch in "no fucking idea?" I mean, that's kinda the point of getting the extension, isn't it? If I KNEW how much my taxes were going to be, wouldn't I be DONE? So I punched in "zero" and moved on. Friendly Uncle Sam can penalize me later if I guessed wrong.

Now I need to fight the Procrastination Demons that seem to surround me and get the damn thing done.

2 comments:

Cagey said...

Hmmm, usually when the IRS says "expected tax liability" that generally means what you owed for the year - aka your entire tax bill. Then, you subtract out your estimated payments (i.e. withholding) and then you know if you owe more or are getting a refund (however, most people mistake this "owing" part as their "liability" part). I know the terminolgoy is confusing for people - it was a constant fight at Block to get people to understand the semantics. Unfortunately, with the IRS, semantics actually count. Sigh. Maybe I misunderstood what you were saying by "expected tax liability".

Goofy Girl said...

I think a lot of folks misunderstand "tax liability". I failed to mention that there is a form that the phone number prompts you to complete, even though it's a simple 3-line form. This form comes with 2 pages of instructions and telling you which lines to get your "tax liability" and "tax payments" from.

For the record, this is Form 4868. If you are confused...go to irs.gov and get this form first, before making that call!

My point was...if I'd gotten to line 70 on my 1040 (where est. tax liability lives), I'd be done with the damn thing...so why would I need an extension?