April 15th, 2014

krazy koati

No one can succeed like Doctor Robert

And, what the heck, taxes. We did them a couple weekends ago, when we felt there wasn't quite enough stress weighing us down, so this is kind of old news but it's thematically appropriate to the day, I guess.

The stressfulness of it was mostly my doing. Part of it's passive: since I technically work in New Jersey we have to file two-state returns and states really, really don't like people filing two-state returns. Worse, the New Jersey bill came out higher than we expected, which forced us to several rounds of self-doubt because we couldn't figure whether the tax software we were using was just doing it wrong or because who even knows. But the amount seemed to be roughly compatible 2012's figures, and I tried a couple online tax calculators with rough estimates of our income and whatnot and they came out in about the same area so I guess that's just right is all.

So while we were getting refunds from the federal government and the state of Michigan, we owed to New Jersey, which is an annoying state of affairs. This led me to calling work to figure out whether my New Jersey withholding was being done at the wrong rate and to the discovery about the de facto office manager having left. (It can't have been voluntary, she'd surely have sent farewell e-mails, right?)

The other stressful thing is that I have a couple little investment accounts and the tax software wanted details on the transactions done for those. I'd been relying on a kind of Maxwell's Demon form of investing: buy stuff, wait for it to either appreciate by a certain amount or for a long enough time, and sell and take the profit (and hold if it's at a loss), which has treated me tolerably well, but means there was way too much stuff to enter considering how many of these involved capital gains of literally several dollars. I suspect if I were filing by myself I'd just skip it and let the IRS come after me if they cared (actually, I'd just make a rough estimate and reduce it to a couple purchases-and-sales to record), but bunny_hugger is careful about doing this stuff exactly right, at the cost of turning what by rights should be a fairly short project into a much longer, more tedious one. I'm embarrassed to have done that to her.

Trivia: IBM's revenues declined to $17.6 million in 1933. They rose, with considerable help from Social Security and other agency needs, to $31.7 million by 1937, and $45.3 million in 1940. Source: Before The Computer: IBM, NCR, Burroughs, and Remington Rand, and the Industry They Created, 1865 - 1956, James W Cortada.

Currently Reading: The Concepts and Logic of Classical Thermodynamics as a Theory of Heat Engines, C Truesdell, S Bharatha.