On the eve of April 15th...
Over the course of the past week, a few people have asked me about how it all worked out with Uncle Sam and our tax filings for our first year in business. And so on the eve of April 15th, let's break it down in a very real way...
- Because I am smarter than I sometimes appear, I knew that finding a tax professional would be paramount to overall PJP success. For over a year now, we've worked with a local company that does our sales tax, profit and loss statements, federal/state tax quarterly payments, annual returns, and whatever else is needed to keep Jeanne and I out of jail and on course to World Pie Domination.
- Over the last few months, I've felt increasingly stressed out that when I picked up our completed 2014 returns, we would need to write a check for $13,814 or more. While we've paid quarterly tax contributions, anything is possible with the federal government and I wanted to be psychologically prepared.
- When I did finally pick up our completed returns, they were a binder and there were at least 50 pages or more inside the binder. Essentially, I had just picked up a book of our first year finances. I didn't even have the heart to crack open the book...I just signed the form that allowed the preparer to e-file and assumed that if she needed to auto debit $13,814, she would call to tell me that she was going to overdraw our account first (seems like the polite thing to do, right?).
- I threw the book in the backseat of my Tahoe because I'm really good at delaying information that I don't want to deal with.
- I rooted the book out of the backseat of my Tahoe later in the day because Behind-The-Scenes Tech Guru Jason was harping around about some form he needed called a K-1 and he didn't think just NOT looking at the tax returns was solid CEO behavior.
- Because of our quarterly contributions, we neither owed taxes...nor were we to expect a refund. Honestly, after I had worked myself up, I felt a little let down. The end result of our book was scratch?
- I feel like if you don't owe anything because you've already been making payments every three months, the IRS should reward you in some small way...like with a card in an official looking envelope that says: "Thanks, we are impressed that you are already ahead of the game...writing really big checks every 120 days was great planning and we noticed it here at the IRS. The Department of Treasury, and America, thanks you."
- I also feel like we should have gotten something back...even token consideration for our efforts. It would have been nice to be noticed after paying all year AND I find it hard to believe that we didn't overpay one quarterly filing by at least $1.57. I suspicion the IRS just rounds up stuff like that and throws the extra in a rainy day fund.
- The bill for the tax preparation services came in at just around $900. I haven't reviewed the rules, but I feel like we should be able to deduct $900 on next year's taxes out of principle as the cost of doing business with the IRS.
- Truth be told, I would have paid three times that amount in exchange for the peace of mind that comes with not trying to use Turbo Tax for Business on the night before April 15th.