Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Mystery solved

So this past weekend, I tried to get organized. One task I accomplished was to finally put away our tax documents. I couldn't resist looking again, trying to see where I went wrong.   My numbers were almost exact on the entire return except for one line:  Line 44.  Tax computation.


This is the sheet on how to do tax computation.




Pretty straightforward, right?

There are four main sections based on filing status (single, etc.), and so you go to your section, and then figure out which income line to use, and then calculate. 

I made a very simple mistake and it was 100% clear in my notes.  

I took our joint income (we are married, filing jointly) and then pulled the tax calculation portion for married filing separately.  The base percent calculation for married filing separately is way higher than married filing jointly.  I guess they assume you have half the income and so the tax rate is very similar to single.  Oops.  

I think when I looked at the headers on the sheet, I saw "married filing jointly or QUALIFYING WIDOW(ER)" and kind of skipped over the first part.  We're not qualifying widow/ers, so on to the next section.  "Married filing separately."  Again, not reading very carefully, just saw the word "married" and must have decided that was us. 

It's a shame that tax calculation is at the end of the form, when you're very "not fresh" from working through the first 43 lines...

Oh well, at least the mystery of what went wrong is solved in my mind.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Invisible

Yesterday I had the STRANGEST experience at work.


I had an accounting question on one of my files, so I sent an email to my accounting buddy to ask her to look into it.  I didn't get a response within a few minutes, and I didn't want to move on to another case without resolving this, so I walked down to her office.


Did I mention we have those dreaded glass walls between our office and the corridor?  (Real walls in between the offices though.)


So I could see that another attorney was in my buddy's office, working on his own accounting issue with her.  But she could see me waiting my turn.  And of course when she looked out at me waiting, he turned and saw me, so he knew there was a line.  He got done, I went in.  She pulled up my email, then opened the file on the system.

I walked around her desk so I could look over her shoulder at her computer and show her where I thought the entry issue was.


-- As an aside, I always think of that as the "sexual harasser position."  Too many workplace videos on preventing sexual harassment in the office I guess.  In those videos, things often go south when someone crosses the desk line in an office.  The boss looking over the employee's shoulder starts giving a shoulder massage or something.  Haha. 


I was looking at the screen and my buddy and I were talking about how the funds posted, where, etc.  We'd been working on the issue for probably 60-90 seconds, when this new secretary walks into my buddy's office.  Just hired in the last month (I've never even been introduced to her actually, but I'd assume she knows I'm an attorney, given that I have an office, not a cube, and only attorneys and my accounting buddy have offices).  She just walked right in -- not waiting outside the office for me to finish (with glass walls, this kind of "lurking" is very common in our office). 


And then the new secretary says something like, "Gene [one of the attorneys she handles] is out of the office this week, and I'm trying to set up his new files and his instructions aren't very clear and I don't know how to enter the location code." 


I kind of just stood there in stunned silence.


My accounting buddy sat for a second, also pretty surprised, then she called out of her office to her assistant, who sits directly outside, and asked her to walk the new secretary through location codes.  The new secretary said something to my accounting buddy like, "oh, sorry, does she [accounting buddy assistant] know more?"  My accounting buddy said something like, "uh, well, she can help you with location codes, I'm working on something else right now [and kind of nodded her head toward me]."  And then the new secretary followed my accounting buddy's assistant back to her desk to figure out how to enter location codes.


I was like, "am I invisible????"


It was so weird!  It wasn't like the new secretary poked her head into my buddy's office and said, "sorry to interrupt," or "I just have a real quick question."  Both of those would have been fine, and understandable, particularly if my issue was going to take more than 5 minutes.  But no, she just came in and started talking, like I wasn't there.  My friend agreed it was certainly the weirdest office event of the month, maybe longer.  We laughed for a while and were again joking today about whether or not she can actually see me. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Movie Tonight?

Short notice, but if you like running and you don't have plans tonight, see if the Boston movie is showing near you!  It's in theaters for tonight only.  I'm going with a group of about 20 running friends and am so excited.  To add to the excitement, our office lets us buy a one-day jeans pass in exchange for a $100 contribution to a particular charity, and I bought one for today (since taxes and deductions are on my mind anyway!).  This way I get to wear jeans at the office today (which seriously feels like a huge treat), along with my Boston t-shirt!  And I'm hoping it will be super air-conditioned in the theater so I can wear my jacket too!  Haha.


Anyway, if you're interested in the movie, here's the blurb from AMC's website:

BOSTON: An American Running Story

2 hr 20 min
NR

Fathom Events, in partnership with Runner’s World, bring the first ever feature-length documentary about the world’s most legendary running race, the Boston Marathon, to select cinemas nationwide on Wednesday, April 19 only. BOSTON: An American Running Story tells the story of the oldest annually contested marathon in the world from its humble origins starting with only 15 runners to the present day. Following the tragic events of 2013, BOSTON records the preparations and eventual running of the 118th Boston Marathon one year later, when runners and community gather in support of one another for what will be the most meaningful race of all. BOSTON is more than a running documentary, it is a timeless story about triumph over adversity for runner and non-runner alike. This special one-night event will also feature footage of the Boston Symphony Orchestra recording an original score composed by 4X Emmy Award®-winner Jeff Beal (House of Cards).

Monday, April 17, 2017

Fake Working

As is my usual Marathon Monday tradition, I will be "fake working" pretty much all morning and early afternoon today.  I will be sitting at my desk, watching the live coverage of the race and tracking all my friends, same as I do pretty much every year.  In 2014, when Meb won, multiple people came to my office because I was ... ummm, not quiet.  I was so excited when I realized he was really going to do it. 


The first time I got a BQ was probably the proudest moment of my running career.  Happened at Twin Cities in 2010, and I promptly registered to run Boston in 2011.


It was my favorite marathon by leaps and bounds -- the history, the involvement of the entire city, the runners in town wearing their jackets, and the race itself.  Totally amazing.  I think I've qualified a total of three times (?), but I only ran it once, primarily I think because that day was so perfect that I don't really want another Boston memory.  I don't think it could ever be topped for me. 




Good luck and Godspeed to all the runners today.  May the wind be at your back and the memories among your favorite of all time.  I'll be at my desk and not working.