2:30 p.m. - February 13, 2006
This weekend was a good case in point.
Friday I took the day off, but I had a couple of high school girls’ sectional games to cover, which went OK, considering the scores were 72-23 and 43-23. I did work the word contrite into one story, boosting the vocabulary of BFE Indiana.
Saturday, Liz and Katie went to the mother-daughter brunch at pre-school, and Katie did a little program with her friends, so I watched Kristin and introduced her into the wide wide world of the Olympics. Hello biathlon and hockey!
But after that, my day got discombobulated. Because of the girls’ sectional, the boys’ game was played in the afternoon, which really messed me up. I then stopped by the grocery store on the way home to pick up some water softener salt. Excitement, plus, there, boyo!
As I was writing that game before dinner, someone called and said they found my wallet. It had fallen out of my coat pocket as I was picking up the salt after I paid for it.
Liz then said she was going to work on taxes on Sunday, and I think that got me into a total funk. I mean, complete and total funk-o-rama. Why?
Well, I thought I was a total idiot.
The U. S. Government, in one of the only sensible things they have done, ever, gives a generous tax credit for those who adopt children. Now, it doesn’t cover all of our attorney fees, but it covers a good chunk of them. The year after Katie’s adoption was finalized, we got a nice size refund that allowed us to set up her 529 plan, and we hoped to do the same with Kristin.
Well, Liz told me when she did the preliminary numbers on Turbo Tax, that we were only going to get back about 3/5 of what that adoption tax credit was.
That got me into a funk, and got my head spinning, because I thought we were going to owe big time next year.
I know we have slid down a tax bracket or two since Liz stopped working, and when Kristin was born, I went and filled out another W-4 and loaded it up with all of the exemptions and tax credits that we should get.
I also got some small income from the Paper, and from the conference in Cedar Rapids, and we have some mineral rights in Oklahoma. But those aren’t bringing us in anywhere near what I get each month from the college.
I had really thought I screwed up and next year we were going to owe, big time, since we had no adoption tax credit for this current year. And I knew our emergency savings wasn’t that huge.
Saturday night, I tried to get out of it by watching some MST3K episodes. That sort of helped, but not really. There’s only so much “Soultaker” can do when you feel like you’ve let the family down.
Sunday, I got the kids out of the house in the afternoon while Liz cleaned house, and shepherded them around the grocery store after a visit to my folks. But I still was a bit morose, and poor Katie got on my last nerve at dinner.
So after Katie went to bed Liz went to work on the taxes. She called me upstairs.
She said she wasn’t worried about this year, because we only paid X much in taxes and they can’t give back more than what we paid, except for the children’s tax credit. She just assumed the rest of the adoption tax credit was lost.
But there it was, on the screen.
Over 50% of the adoption tax credit could not be taken this year, because of our income level and other deductions, but that could be rolled over into the next tax year.
That means our 2006 taxes will be in good shape as well! So no eating rocks and gravel for us.
The thing is that I should have known about rolling over deductions. I deal in the non-profit world, and some people have been known to roll over deductions based on their charitable giving.
Plus, I never asked Liz questions. I just took her figure and made assumptions based on our prior history, not remembering we downshifted a few tax brackets.
But that news got me into a good mood, like that, so I was happy to watch the lugers and the downhill skiers with a smile instead of a scowl, and it got me in a much better frame of mind for the week.
Of course, we all slept through alarms this morning, so I don’t know if the lack of angst was due to grogginess or contentment, but I’ll take it, no matter what.