Monday, February 25, 2013

Too Much To Do, Not Enough Weekend

Friday night I got 5 of the six pieces of leather sewn onto the pliers. Had a problem with one, had to cut a new piece of leather and mold it onto the handle. I meant to sew it Saturday or Sunday, but didn't get that far. Will finish them today, dammit, so I can send the pliers back to their owner in tomorrow's mail.

The plan for Saturday morning was to go out to breakfast, then return home and start working on taxes. It didn't quite work out. Instead we checked on how much vegetable-tanned leather we had in the right weight for cartridge pouches, then went to the Tandy/Leather Factory store and bought leather. I thought it was on sale for a pretty good price, but discovered upon arriving and re-reading the flyer that the sale didn't include leather that heavy.

They did have other leather on sale, in the right weight, and a price that wasn't quite as good as the other sale. I got Robin to check a catalog at home to confirm that it was still a good price. Some of it followed us home. So did some more studs, (still on sale), and dees that were on the clearance table. They're a style that work for satchels, and I had dees (and buckles) for satchels on my Otter shopping list. 

In the afternoon I started taxes, which actually meant making sure I'd rooted out all of the 2012 receipts and other paperwork, checking to make sure it was in the books, and metaphorically closing the books for the year. Closing the books consists mainly of making sure the summary tables are referencing/computing correctly, and declaring the job done.

We lost money. Whopping amounts of money, if you look at the amount of money that went out vs. the amount that came in. That's what happens when you buy a trailer, all the fittings for the trailer, Thing One and Thing Two, put wheels on the Things and buy bins to put in the Things, The Grinch and the bins to sort hardware in The Grinch, and a new handtruck. Plus yarn, displays for yarn and other things, and a bunch of new tooling tools for Ron, not to mention leather and hardware and other supplies.

Saturday I spent significant amounts of time pounding my head trying to figure out depreciation. With some help from Google, I think I got it. It made more sense after eating dinner, too. At first I was going to only depreciate the trailer, but I realized I can also include tax, title fees, etc., and added most of the fittings, all three road cases, the handtruck, and some other somewhat-related odds and ends. Doing all that meant that our loss for the year, as the IRS figures it, wasn't very big.

For 2011 we wrote off 10% of the things being depreciated. 2013-2016 we write off 20% each year, and the final 10% in 2017. Which means that we have to keep sales up, so that we don't lose money IRS-wise too often (if you don't make money 3 years out of 5, the activity is considered a hobby, not a business, which changes, and IIRC limits, what you can deduct). We had a whacking big lot of expenses in 2011 that I didn't roll into the pile being depreciated (in for a sheep, in for a lamb, with making capital investments last year) so I don't think it should be a problem.

Sunday morning, after finishing up the depreciation form, I went looking for the bundle of 2011 taxes and paperwork. Or the power cord for my laptop, which I think is the machine I did the 2011 taxes on. And looking, and looking, and looking. I found some 2011 receipts, and half of the power cord. Apple power cords are two-parters, a power cord and then a lighter-weight cable with the not-wall wart on one end and the cool magnetic connecter on the other. You can connect an iPad power wart to the laptop cord section, which I sometimes do to get some extra length for my iPad power.

The laptop battery is dead enough that it won't power up. I can't find the paper copies of the tax returns. Ron found the proper cables to connect the laptop hard drive to a USB port, but getting the drive out was going to require fairly heroic efforts, which I vetoed at that point. I'd hoped the power cord was at work, but no joy this morning.  

Fortunately, you don't actually need the previous year's return to do a 1040 (now that I've gone through the process again for the first time in mumble years, I realize that the amount of typing that importing the previous year's data into Turbo Tax saves you isn't that much), and the data I did need from the 2011 returns for the business taxes was on a form I'd filled out as a PDF and had saved a copy of on the desktop machine.

Anyway, the plan for Sunday originally was to spend the morning on taxes, and then the afternoon on other things.

Failed. At about lunchtime I was a good way through doing our personal taxes, which is usually the easy downhill slope of the slog. I did encounter a slowdown, in getting together data on how much we spent on textbooks for Robin and some donations, but the additions to our refund were worth the time. 

Lesson learned from the missing 2011 tax paperwork. All the supporting paperwork such as W2s and mortgage interest statements were scanned and saved. After printing a hard copy of the our personal tax returns, I saved printed them to a PDF, so we can look at them without TurboTax. I need to burn a copy of the pertinent directories to a CD or DVD and store it at one of our offices or send it to Ron's dad or mine as an off-site backup. 

Went for late lunch/early dinner at Toreo, then to Eurofresh for some groceries. I think we got home 4:30-5-ish. Still could have worked on cutting out cartridge pouches, but I decided I wasn't up to it, which was probably wise. I beat Ron in two games of cribbage, instead. Which is pretty surprising. Clearly luck was with me. 

Realized this morning that there's a couple more small things I need to do before I can copy and mail off the business tax forms, but nothing major/difficult, just dotting the Is and crossing the Ts. Not sure if I'll get them done tonight or not. Right now there's a 6-ft table in the living room covered with paperwork, which I've sworn will be cleared and taken down tonight. 

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