Taxes

April 15, at 11:59 PM, is the deadline for filing taxes.
Since, I like to get things done in advance, I met with an H&R Block tax preparer a few weeks ago.
She told me that I’d have to pay $200 to get it prepared. I agreed to the price because, unlike previous years, this year’s returns are complicated.
Right away we realized that I’ve been taking too many payroll deductions for 2009. I was still deducting my paycheck as “Married” (which is legally true), but I’m filing as “Single”.
I immediately updated my payroll deductions for 2010 and I’m sure to have less money each pay period as a result. (My updated numbers haven’t made it into a paycheck yet, so I have no idea how much of a shortfall I’ll be faced with.)
Today I met with the tax preparer one last time. In order for them to give me my tax papers and file for me, I needed to pay them their fees. I was surprised when she handed me a bill for $283.00. When I expressed shock, she explained that $200 was just the minimum charge.
I told her that I felt cheated. It’s the practically the eve of the filing period and she’s put so much work into it that I don’t have a choice but to pay, but it’s not right to quote one price and then charge a higher amount. If I had known, I might I have gone elsewhere. And, even if I hadn’t, I could have budgeted for this increased expenditure.
At first she got insulted and started speaking harshly. But, when I explained that I wasn’t planning on speaking to her manager or anyone else; that I just wanted her to understand how I feel, she calmed down and apologized. She offered me a $20 discount and I paid the bill.
Unfortunately, because of how I deducted my payroll last year, I am faced with a charge of almost a thousand dollars. I’m in a tight spot, financially, with all my important financial obligations, but I’m sure I’ll be okay.
I think dropping cable and internet will turn out to be a good thing. I wouldn’t have dropped their service if they hadn’t been unreasonable, but now that I have, I’ll be saving $150 a month. That should help.
Of course, if I replace my internet coverage with another supplier, it will cut into my savings realized. However, I don’t think that cost will be greater than $70 a month. (I’m hoping it’ll be a lot closer to $30 a month.)

“We need fewer taxes” – Ronald Reagan
“We need more taxis. I can never find one!” – The Rechnitzer Rebbe

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5 Responses to “Taxes”

  1. Wicked Shawn Says:

    H&R Block is sort of known for the bait and switch like that. Sorry to hear. 😦 Really. Sorry.

    • alarbean Says:

      Thanks for feeling my pain.
      I knew they had issues with their rapid pay option – where they cheated people out of their refunds. I didn’t expect this.
      At least I know for next year.

  2. wonderingchicka Says:

    I have internet through Optimum (cable I think) that I only pay $30/month for. You shouldnt have to pay more than $30 if you’re just signing up for internet service. Verizon also has cheap internet service but I’ve had problems with their customer service before.

    • alarbean Says:

      Thanks for reading!

      I just cancelled my Optimum service. (Yes, it’s cable.) The internet is 30 the first year. Then it jumps to 50 a month.
      I used to use Verizon for my phone service, from 2002-2005, I don’t want to go back to them. Ever.
      My options are going without internet, using Sprint’s internet hub (60 a month), or joining in someone else’s network.

  3. Hooked up with Internet « Alarbean's Blog Says:

    […] By alarbean It’s official. I’m back with CableVision. I went 6 months without Internet at home. I didn’t miss it for the most part. I spent a lot of time outside of my apartment, in bars […]

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