Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pay up

When I became an adult, my dad taught me how to do my taxes.  In the beginning, it didn't take long, and I kind of enjoyed it.

Then, one year I moved to a different state and was working for myself.  It required more paperwork, but it was fine.

Then I got married and worked in three states in one year.  It took me about three days to do our taxes that time.

I well remember my dad doing taxes when I was growing up.  He enjoyed doing them, and he was good at it.  Even while I was an adult, I called him for tax advice.

So when we came home to the farm, we ... hired an accountant!

Sometimes people ask me if I "do the books" for the farm, since a lot of spouses on farms do.  (Sort of a division of labor.)  I try not to laugh, because that is probably the last job I would ever volunteer to do.  Not that I'm horrible at math, (I do have a calculator), but I'm bad at making spreadsheets that anyone else understands.  They're clear to me, but probably the IRS would not see them the same way.

As a result, today Kris had a five-hour meeting with our accountant to do end-of-the-year tax things.  They meet once a year.  Kris keeps meticulous records and gives him both paper and online information.  They discuss it and we pay him to do the work. 

Kris scheduled this meeting a really long time ago, but today was a fantastic day for it!  Today was the wind chill of -26 with a thermometer reading of -9.  It got up to 4 degrees at one point.

This morning when Kris went to feed the cows at 6:00 a.m., the tractor wouldn't work.  It would run for five seconds, then stop when the fuel gelled.  He did that about ten times and gave up.  He got the space heater and put it against the fuel filters.  After he warmed it up for 20 minutes, it started and stayed going. 

The little amount of feeding he could do before he had to leave for his meeting, he had to do at low idle.  The tractor wouldn't rev up.  As a result, feeding took a lot longer than normal.

Also, something I never thought about.  We can't push manure into the lagoon anymore.  Manure is usually mostly liquid and it just slides down the angle into the bottom.  But!  When it's all frozen, it doesn't slide down the wall.  It just builds up on the wall, so you can't push any more in.  The guys were making piles on the cement and planned on putting it in the manure spreader.  However, since the manure spreader was frozen, the chain broke.  The guys spent the rest of the day fixing that.

In comparison, it almost makes paying taxes look better.


Gilbert McNally said...

Tax laws do became more complex as the years have gone by, so maybe that was the culprit? Though working in several states does tend to lead to longer reports. In any case, your accountant must be relieved that you guys took meticulous care in keeping and organizing your records, so he doesn't have to deal with looking for them, and he can focus on making the best deal for you. Well, at least the ensuing tax season won't be such a pain!
Gilbert McNally @ BrandonAccountant.com

Carla said...

Hello Gilbert - Yes, it's not near as bad now. Well, the paying part is never fun, but the lead up is better. : ) Thanks for reading and commenting!