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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ah, Dad...

I thought today was going to be the end of my struggles to finish up Dad's 2011 taxes.  His tax prep firm (not as impressive as it sounds) thoughtfully filed an extension request in April when they realized they had stopped getting tax info from Dad.  By the time I learned the forms hadn't been filed, it was July and I thought there was plenty of time.  When I finally (it was like pulling teeth) got through Dad's records, I realized there were problems. 

I sent all I could find to the tax prep firm, thinking they could get the missing stuff.  A couple months later, I learned that WE had to get them (hey, MY taxes are simple and I'm not familiar with Dad's finances).  They sent me a list of missing documents.  Some of them were ones I was sure I had sent, so I concentrated on the ones I didn't know about.  Some requests went unanswered.  When it takes weeks to find out there was no response, that uses up a lot of weeks.  2 govt forms were to take 3-5 weeks for reply, so when they didn't show up...  ARGH.  Apparently website requests don't work very well.

By today, I had all the forms I thought were needed.  "THOUGHT were needed" is the operative phrase here.  After all was compiled, I discovered that the property tax payment receipts for 2 rental condos in NH were only HALF present.  I pay my property taxes annually, and I had his condo tax forms for 2011.  Even had it checked off the list.  But HIS are twice a year and he didn't have the one for the 2nd half of 2011.

No problem, he writes a check for them, it will be in his checkbook.  Now, understand that Dad doesn't actually balance his checkbook.  He just writes in the dollar amount and trusts the bank to get it all right (and they do - I haven't found an error in a bank statement in my life).  Except that he didn't write down the amount of the check in his register.  2 failures of that in the entire check register and THAT had to be one of them.  OK, maybe no problem.  I'll just look at his monthly bank statement and get the amount from there.

Right...  No such luck.  Dad thinks monthly statements aren't worth keeping for long.  The check amount I needed was for November 2011.  His records go back to December...

Three completely independent ways of getting one single dollar amount, and he has none of them.  

Since he moved here in May, I have constantly fought with him about keeping financial documents.  He doesn't like to "because the folders get too fat".  He could live to 120 and not fill up the file drawer...

I know the check number of the missing property tax payment, and I called his bank to see if they will just tell me the amount over the phone.  But that will be tomorrow at best.  And now a stock form I got last month is missing.  I may have left it on the table.  In which case, Dad may have decided he didn't need it or stashed it in a folder somewhere.  I'll have to search through his entirely unorganized folders and hope he didn't just trash it.  It gets stranger than I can actually describe.

Did I mention that he has started putting grapes in his martinis.  He is thinking of olives, I assume.  Well, the grapes ARE green and round...

1 comment:

Katie Isabella said...

Ah....Mark. You are realy on a voyage that twists and winds and meanders but does go somewhere. (hug)