There is a phenomenon that takes place this time of year that has mystified me ever since we became fulltime RVers over ten years ago, and that is getting income taxes filed.
No, I understand the process. What confuses me is why people would leave a place like sunny Arizona and return to cold states in the Midwest just to file their taxes. Don’t they know that they have mailboxes in Arizona too?
Yesterday I talked to two different people who are here in Arizona, one in Yuma and another in Tucson, who both said they really wanted to come to our Gypsy Gathering rally next month, but the timing was wrong because they had to go back to Iowa and Minnesota, respectively, to file their income taxes. We have heard people say this ever since we got on the road, and I just don’t understand it.
I guess if you are a snowbird and all of your records are back home, it might make sense, though not as much sense as taking the records with you when you leave for the winter. But I know fulltimers who still go back to wherever they came from to file their taxes. Why? Even the IRS doesn’t have enough clout to make me go where it is snowing!
Besides tires and house batteries, another thing we need to replace on our Winnebago are the slide toppers, which show their age and have several small tears and holes in them.
When Russ Maxwell from Carefree Awnings was visiting the other day, he took a look at them and agreed that they needed replaced, and said he’d have a fellow named Darrell Vliem from a company called Awning Man stop by and give us an estimate. Darrell came by yesterday and did some measuring, and said he would order two new slide toppers, and have them installed before we have to leave for the rally in Yuma.
Yesterday afternoon, Jim and Nancy Tidball stopped in for a visit and to pick up a copy of our RVers Guide To Fairgrounds Camping. We last saw Jim and Nancy last year when we were in Aransas Pass, Texas and they came by so Jim could test paddle the kayak I had for sale. It was nice to see them again, and we had a good visit before they had to run.
Besides all of her regular chores, and proofing the stories as I write them for the new issue of the Gypsy Journal, Miss Terry has been busy helping her mom get things prepared for her dad’s birthday party this weekend. It will be a small family gathering, just Pete’s daughters, grandkids, and their respective spouses, but a lot of time and effort still goes into getting everything arranged.
One final note before I close this blog post. I was told that Mail Call USA, a mail forwarding service in Cleveland, Tennessee has apparently gone out of business without giving their clients any notice. There is a thread about it on the Escapees forum. That can sure create a lot of problems for RVers who depend on their mail service to get their snail mail to them.
Thought For The Day – Some marriages are made in heaven, but they all have to be maintained on earth.
It will be interesting to read the comments re: returning home to file taxes. I’ve been wondering that same thing – why do people do that? We carry our documents with us. We could mail them to the preparer back at our previous “home” or just have someone do them wherever we happen to be at tax time. It’s a mystery to me too.
As far as Income taxes go, you can always file an extension, if you’re getting a refund it doesn’t cost you anything, or you can do like we did and just raise your daughter to be a CPA.
I vote for NOT understanding this. My tax preparer accepts data via email or snailmail, mails the completed tax forms to me no matter where I am and I pay her when we return home, even months later. If I don’t have to go back to the north for other reasons, I am NOT going back to file. Nope, I don’t get it either.
TurboTax. We used to have to have someone do our taxes. We simplified them by moving investments around so we have very few forms coming to us. Then I collect & organize the paperwork (I did that anyway for the preparer) and Peter learned to use TurboTax and in one morning it’s all done. We do it on the road. There really is no reason to go back “home” for a preparer what with fax, phone and especially TurboTax.
And I HATE income tax time. It’s really time for the US to have a flat tax or go to a federal sales tax on goods and services. It’s a waste of my time to have to do income tax every year. But the multimillion dollar business which has grown up around income tax and the many federal employees looking at our returns sure don’t want it to stop.
Do you know only 50% of the people who file income tax returns actually pay the federal government money? (Data from IRS compilation statistics) The rest plus the nonfilers don’t pay ANY income tax at all. So the “rich” are the ones who support this country. The rest just complain that they don’t get their fair share of the money.
TurboTax is the answer. We’ve used it for many years, well before we went on the road. We found out one time that our tax preparer in Butte, MT, was using a commercial computer program and figgered if he can do it, so can we! Once in a while we have a puzzler question, but not often.
Hey Nick, Sounds like another “How To” book for you to write. M&C
Hey Nick,here’s one. The guy behind us at the park left to return to OK when they were having the big ice storm. His reason-He does’nt trust his tax guy to do it with out him there! Go figure.
We have to go home for our taxes,car smog and lic.Plus we had some roof damage to one of our out buildings with that big storm.We want to get all this done before we head to D.C.
We live in Calif.
My tow a Toyota 4×4 is a 1988 and 20 years old and now has to be smoged every year. If I could sell and get out of this state I would.
Download a tax package like TaxAct. For something like $20, you get the software and one free electronic filing. The coolest part is, the second year you buy it, it will pull most of your information from your prior return. Not only that, it will compare the two returns to look for red-flags (such as numbers that change dramatically from one year to the next). When you are done, you press a button and file your return electronically and you’re done. You either get a direct deposit of your refund in about 6 days or you can pay amounts due with a credit card along with the electronic filing.
If you are worried about putting your identity out there, get an identity protection rider tacked onto your RV insurance policy. Or, just don’t worry about it. As Bill Maher says, the days of privacy are over, if you want to keep your data private, you must get rid of your credit cards, phone, iPod and live in a cave in the desert. And, oh by the way, those are the people they’re really interested in! 🙂
NOPE…. we are doing ours on the road… NO going home for us!!!
Have fun & travel safe!
I married an accountant, we downloaded nearly all of the financial 1099s (got a couple forwarded by mail), some stuff does not change from year to year and we bank on line. We filed on line. IRS sent us our refund in 6 days. Sate of Illinois in about 8 or 9 days. Others are not as fortunate, but as someone said — file an extension.
RE: awnings… Are you just replacing the fabric or the entire slide topper set-up? During the winds in Q this year we broke TWO “anti-bellowing” locks (the little “C-shaped” device on the end of the roller). The winds just blew up and under the awning, taking the metal lock with it. This was with our slides IN. We have A&E awnings and we can’t add a permanent cover. Carefree makes a slide topper model that is a tear-drop shape that does not let the air under the roller. If you get a chance, talk to your awning guy and see if it is worth it to change styles at this point. We are going to wait until we have to replace the fabric to do ours.
–CoolJudy (’07 Itasca Horizon)
Re:Taxes. Could going home to do the taxes just be another excuse to go home? There are alot of people that find the RV lifestyle difficult. Too long away from home is very hard for them. So, rather than saying they want to get back home, they come up with lame excuses.