Random Reader Rant and/or Revel


Photo by PoPville flickr member RemyGDC

You can talk about whatever is on your mind – quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have. But please no personal attacks and no need to correct people’s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

29 Comment

  • Rant: Underwriters delayed out refinance.. again.
    Rave: Finished my tax return last night.

    • Allison

      Yay tax return! My husband loves doing the taxes–he likes to answer all the questions on TurboTax and watch the “final number” go up and down as you go along. It’s kind of cute how excited he gets once he realizes we have all the documents we need to fill it out. Maybe he’ll get less excited when we stop getting the Lifetime Learning Credit next year once I’m out of school…

      • Haha, me too. I dread doing my girlfriend’s, though, because she never has all her paperwork and I have to keep stopping along the way. But she pays me for it so I can’t really complain. :)

    • Question, I just got something in the mail from the state of VA that says it takes the place of federal forms 1099-G and 1099-INT. It lists “Income Tax Refunds, Credits, or Offests” of over $5000 with no other explanation. Any idea what this is for? I used to live in VA but moved to DC in early 2011. Does it mean I overpaid VA or VA overpaid me, and what could the overpayment have been for?

      • Did you pay income tax to and receive a tax refund from VA for the year 2011? Generally, the 1099-G form reports the refund a taxpayer received on their state income taxes. It’s not relevant for everyone though (and some states don’t even mail them anymore). It depends on whether you itemized deductions vs took the standard deduction on your 2011 federal income taxes. When people itemize deductions on their fed return, they can deduct from their income the state income tax they paid that year–the amount shown as withheld on the w-2. So, for example, on your 2011 taxes filed in early 2012, you could deduct the state taxes paid in 2011. However, if you subsequently filed your state taxes in spring 2012 and it turns out that you receive a refund–that is, if the amount you deducted on fed is actually less than you ended up paying in state taxes–you have to add that state refund back in as income on your 2012 federal return. (If you just took the standard deduction on your 2011 fed taxes, the state refund received for 2011 taxes in 2012 is irrelevant.)

        Disclaimer: I prepare tax returns in a volunteer capacity, but I’m not an accountant or a tax attorney, so this isn’t official legal or accounting advice!

        • I did do itemized deductions last year, and I had two months in 2011 where I was still living in VA and paying taxes there so of course that was reported in last year’s tax return. But I still don’t understand what this means? Am I supposed to be taxed on $5k of mysterious income now, and where did that number come from?

          • I didn’t receive any sort of income btw.

          • Err, meant to say I didn’t receive a refund of any kind.

          • Huh, I’ve reached the end of my volunteer knowledge…sorry! I’ve only ever seen 1099-Gs that correspond with the amount of the taxpayer’s state refund on prior year’s taxes. Not sure what else VA might have put on there that goes into the $5,000 calculation.

        • A few years ago I decided that as long as I’m honest, report everything etc. if IRS can’t fix itself to the point where a college-educated reasonably savvy smart person can’t figure something out in about an hour – screw them.

          Let them come audit if they want – I’ll give them my whole shoebox of paper and let them sort it out. It’slo

          • OOps – kittens stomping on my keyboard – as I was saying – my theory is to be honest, do your best and if IRS wants to comb through – let them.

            It is a major job failure for the govt. to make a civic duty – one that I think most people are actually fine with – taxes= sewers, clean air, national parks etc. – so difficult.

            It is also a de facto extra tax to require us to pay an accountant to comply.

          • I try to be honest and report everything too, that’s why I have to go back and amend my return now for this weird thing that just arrived in the mail. I was just wondering what it was because I’ve never gotten it before.

      • novadancer

        the 1099 g is the refund you received from VA in 2011. IF you itemize (get the deduction of state taxes) in one year and receive a refund, you are required to report that as income (line 10) on your federal return.
        If you were a part year last year and non -resident this year, make sure to exclude this from your DC return.
        Hope this helps!

  • Rave: Absolutely love the new Costco
    Rant: Pre-superbowl shopping made it an unsavory destination this afternoon.

    • My boyfriend attempted the Piney Branch Safeway this morning, only to come home a half hour later, pissed off and empty-handed. Apparently, the carts were all malfunctioning and the wheels were locked up in the parking lot. After about 10 minutes he finally found a cart that worked and went inside, he claims the entire produce section was “lined with geriatrics” and he “couldn’t even get to the red peppers.” He took his cart back into the vestibule and came home. I’d call him a whiner, except while he was out doing this on was on the couch, under the weather and watching chick flicks.

      • Good to know… I’ll avoid that grocery store this morning. I’ll also avoid some pissy looking shopper tapping his foot while the elderly block access to his precious red peppers.

  • Rant: Have ski mask wearing robbers with guns really started a weekly weekend ritual? Amazing how many armed robberies happened yesterday in DC.

    Revel: 4D MPD folks claim that an upper NW crew is buying ski masks in bulk along Georgia Ave.

    • Allison

      I get scared when I see people wearing them over their face on the metro… I know it’s cold and some people wear them to keep warm, but really, when you’re in the metro system, take it off please?

    • This just makes me laugh. Robbers buying ski masks in bulk? How dirty does a ski mask actually get during a robbery that you need another dozen in your dresser? Or do they just forget where they put them between robberies?

      OK – if it really is a problem – just pass a law that all ski masks must be pink. Guns too. We’ll never restrict them, but what if all non-hunting guns were required to be bright pink? And assault rifles also need little flower and smiley face decals.

      • My mom works at a high school that had to ban certain clothing colors because they were associated with various gangs. So at one point one of the gang’s colors was pink because it was one of the permitted colors. And they wore that pink proudly. So I’m not sure it matters.

  • I thought I had the flu about three weeks ago, but now I know that it was just a cold, because I NOW have the flu and it is kicking my rear! Started on Wednesday – I am certain I picked it up on the super-crowded 52 bus that morning – and I stayed home from work on Thursday and Friday. Things seemed to improve until Saturday evening, when the cough started, and barely stopped until about 10am Sunday – I though for sure my neighbors would come and yell at me for the racket. (Sorry.) Slept for maybe three hours. This morning tried to go to CVS but just couldn’t make it; luckily a friend went for me, and the OTC meds seem to be working. It’s miserable but at least I can breathe without hearing my lungs rattle…. if this is less intense because I had the flu shot, I do not ever want to know what it’s like without the shot!

    • Did you just get the flu shot recently? It could be a reaction to it. I’ve had post-flu shot sickness that was worse than any flu I’ve ever had.

      • No, this time the shot was months ago, October, I think. However, I’ve had the same kind of reaction you describe, in the past.

        • According to Victoria it wasn’t a reaction. You just happened to pick up some flu germs on the way out of the flu shot clinic!

      • Flu shots do not – can not – give you the flu. They do take up to 2 weeks to immunize you fully and are only 60-70% effective, so you can still catch influenza. Here are some actual facts.

        .http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/flushot.htm#whatarethe

        • Never said I got the flu from it. Just that I always feel really sick and miserable after getting the shot. Seems like a weird coincidence that I would just HAPPEN to catch the flu right after getting the flu shot in September/October, while I’m symptom-free all the years I didn’t get the shot.

  • Rave – Whole Foods still had guacamole and pico de gallo at 5:30 this afternoon! Whoo hoo!

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