Saturday, March 30, 2019

Neck Deep in Finishing 2018 Taxes

I spent about four full days this week doing our 2018 taxes.  I knew when the tax law changed for 2018 that it was not going to be favorable for us.  I was right.  The new tax law disproportionally punishes people who live in high cost of living states/areas.  We pay SO MUCH California state income tax AND property tax and it used to be completely deductible.  For 2018 that specific deduction got capped at $10,000.  For us, that means that $15,000 of state and local taxes that we paid is now NOT DEDUCTIBLE.  Which caused our tax bill to increase by about $4,000.  That is very punishing.  I am NOT pleased at all.  Like I said, when I read the tax reform, I knew it was not favorable to us, but now it’s quantifiably unfavorable.  Thanks Trump.

I also had to learn how to do taxes as a small business owner.  There was so much to learn and a steep learning curve.  Startup costs can be a one-time write-off.  I had to figure out my end of 2018 inventory $ amount for both raw materials and finished products.  I had to calculate Cost of Good Sold directly associated with every product I produced.  I kept very good records so it was easier than someone who may not have kept good records.  But this first year was still quite a learning curve and tedius.  However, now I know exactly what categories go into what on the tax forms and I can cater my record-keeping to that, so that next year when we do our taxes for 2019 it will be easier!  No wonder people hire tax accountants to do their taxes.  I am an accountant but NOT a tax accountant, but I’ve never hired someone to do our taxes.  I always feel like I know enough to do our own taxes.  Plus I feel like gathering all the financial info is already half the time, so why not just enter them all myself?  Anyway, glad they are done and filed!  We ended up oweing some federal taxes and getting some state taxes back.  It was not a horrible result, but it was a $4,000 difference than if the tax laws did not change.  I feel like there is no incentive to purchase or own a house in high cost of living states now.  If we can’t deduct those taxed amounts then who would want to own a house?  No wonder our housing prices have seen a downturn, and nobody is buying!

Some brighter topics… I’ve had these flowers for a couple of weeks now.  They are finally wilting.  My good friend Meera gave them to me when she took me out for birthday breakfast!

I did a good amount of cleaning last week.  It felt really good to get a couple of areas cleaned up.  I sure wish houses didn’t dirty themselves, LOL.  On the weekend, we went for a walk along the coast.  It was a really nice day and we had an important conversation.  Walking outside is my favorite, but I don’t seem to do it enough!

Last weekend we tried out a new dumpling restaurant called Harmony Potsticker.  We thought it was decent.  The potstickers were good!  Todd had regular pork potstickers while I had shrimp and chive potstickers.

We also got some tofu soup and smashed cucumbers.  The tofu soup was good but the smashed cucumbers were not our favorite.

On Sunday, Todd spent a few hours making his world famous triple chocolate mousse cake so that he could bring it to work for a project-ending celebration on Monday.  It was as good as I remembered it!

It had a base layer of flourless chocolate cake, followed by a layer of whipped chocolate mousse, then topped with whipped white chocolate mousse,  It was as amazing as it looked!  Many of Todd’s coworkers said it was restaurant quality cake!

This past Monday I went to Costco to stock up on some stuff, but also to get my passport photo taken!  I need to renew my passport so we can take a trip later this year to celebrate our (gulp) TWENTY-FIFTH wedding anniversary!  I really can’t believe it’s been that long.

On Wednesday my friend Erecca, from where I used to work, took me out to lunch at Gor Gai for my birthday.  It’s my favorite Thai food around here.  It was fun to see her and catch up! 
On Thursday I received a super awesome package in the mail from my friend Peppermint for my birthday!  She picked out a Happy Planner for me and it’s perfect!  I haven’t been scrapbooking but this planner style of decorating with stickers and jotting down stuff seems like it will be fun!

Since it’s an 18-month planner from July 2019 to December 2020, she also got me an undated extension so I can start to use it immediately in April.  So nice!  I’ve already put date stickers on all the monthly and weekly pages in the extension so I’m ready to go for April!  So excited!
Then yesterday (Friday) my friend Anne treated me to high tea at Marlene’s Tea and Cakes for my birthday!  (I am so so blessed with caring friends who seemed to have celebrated me all month long.  I don’t take it for granted at all, and I’m super-touched and thankful.)  I had NEVER been to high tea before and was so delighted at this new experience.  Here’s a sneak peek at it.  I will be writing a post about it in a couple of days.

Here’s a cute Noodle photo to finish off the post!


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