Sometime in the distant past – more than a decade ago and maybe before that – I started filing my taxes electronically using my parents’ computer.
If I had to guess, probably there was some cost savings involved. They would buy the software or get it for cheap through AARP, and I’d bring my forms and file on their computer. Excuse to visit, no money wasted, easy-peasy.
Over the last few years we’ve continued that approach, just because it was easier. Sure, I’d have to download a different state to file, but the prior year tax record was already on their machine, no need to start from zero.
Except maybe you’ve noticed there’s a pandemic on.
Last year when the coronavirus was just getting legs here (my office hadn’t even closed yet but I was self-isolated already), I masked up and did my taxes at their place.
Never dreaming that a year later we’d be worse off, pandemic-wise.
This year, I masked up and did the same. With one caveat: my folks just got a new computer. They have their taxes done on the old one, because like me that’s where the software and the prior year’s datafile was, and held that machine available for me to do mine on it one last time.
And all was well. Fed filled out. The extra state download had just come down and I’d just gotten started when…
The screen went black.
The computer was humming.
But the screen was black.
Turned monitor off. Turned monitor on. Ok there we g-
Not sure what kind of (Google says inverter) failure that is, but basically since I was more than halfway through the process, and everything was on this computer, I needed to press on. So I filled out both of my state tax forms by turning the monitor on and off, reading the screens and filling in entries in half-second bursts of visibility.
It was … exhausting.
But the taxes are filled out and filed. (Dear God, I hope correctly.)
And all my history is now moved off their computer and onto my own.
I don’t know what your tax process looks like, but I hope it goes more smoothly.