The H&R Block Tax Software wants to know how much we earned in interest from our bank last year.
Fair enough – they’re entitled to the information. So – is there a 1099-INT from the bank among the papers?
Alternate data gathering
Okay, so that means I really do have to open the bank statements for the last six or eight months, and one of these – since they tell me interest-to-date-for-the-year on each one – will surely contain the coveted information.
Open all the statements. Put them in order. Good: they’re all there – and Postal Service didn’t eat any of them.
Good job, U. S. Post Office!
Why in tarnation are we still using paper statements?
Since I’m doing taxes on a Saturday long after the bank has closed AND I get the statements in the actual mail because that’s the only way I 1) get the bank to pay for printing, 2) get small but legible facsimile copies of my checks.
I know, I know – this is the modern era. But PNCBank, although they will let you print your statement online, AND make your own copy of every check, will not give you a summary sheet online that shows each and every check.
I went around with them for hours on the phone – and they never even understood that I want a paper copy of EACH and every check – because only paper copies show the correct information as they ACTUALLY got it, not as they summarized it for their database.
“But you can print out all your checks online!” Really? On my printer? One at a time? Every month or so (they only have the checks and deposit slip information available for a few months)? In a format which takes a WHOLE sheet of MY printer paper and toner for EACH check and deposit slip?
Yup. I did that for a couple of months back when I was foolish (more foolish? foolisher?) – and ended up with a huge stack of paper for each month, and had to print extras in case I needed them for taxes in a year or so (before they disappeared from online and I had to pay to get copies back from their archives)…
I went back to paper. Each statement is three pages printed on both sides. Each has a facsimile of all my checks. Way to go, PNCBank.
The interest, please
So I get the right statement, and have, to report to the IRS (drum roll please): $1.17. For a year’s interest. At 0.01% interest. Compounded monthly? Daily? Yearly?
But the IRS will get this information from the bank – and we MUST have the exact same information on our form 1040.
The number we will be comparing is 1 (for $1) because the IRS – and the tax program – round up. So I get the $0.17 tax free.
Of such is the doing of taxes.
If I didn’t get a blog post out of this, it would be SO not worth it.
The answer: how a writer does taxes: interest income? By writing about it, of course.