The IRS Giveth and Taketh Away

We almost finished our annual income-tax-filing ritual. The challenges of being a registered domestic partnership couple in California (a community property state) and yet being unable to file a joint federal tax return have made filing our taxes this year to be frustrating at best. The differences in federal and state rules has required us to create a number of different tax returns, just to understand what we gained and what we lost.

Under our normal tax filing, we would have netted about $1150 in a federal tax refund. If we had been able to file jointly at the federal level as a couple, we would have received a $565 refund. By splitting our income and deductions, somehow we ended up with a net federal refund of just $490. We have looked at all the forms every which way, and we just can’t figure out how we had to pay so much more in federal taxes.

It didn’t help that today was a particularly expensive day. Our little chihuahua, Sherman, had his annual veterinary checkup today. That, plus the annual 12-month supply of heartworm prevention medication for both dogs, cost us $440. Then I took my 11-year-old car to Jiffy Lube to get the oil changed, and they convinced me that I needed to use the synthetic oil, so my $30 oil change costs $70.

Boy, that extra $660 in our federal refund sure would have been nice right about now.

Fast Forward

We just can’t quite figure out where the time goes! One minute we’re thinking about what to write for the website, the next minute 8 months have passed! What’s up with that???

We are doing great and enjoying life in Sacramento. We are actively involved in our church and appreciate the support and nurturing that our church family has given us. Steve G was elected to the Board of Deacons for a one-year term, and as long as he remembers to go to the monthly meetings, he is enjoying the service that his ordination requires. Steve W was elected to the Pastor Nominating Committee at the annual meeting of the congregation in February. He is serving with 8 other members to develop the materials to present the church leadership opportunity as well as interviewing the candidates once all the materials are written and submitted to the national Presbyterian Church. Needless to say, both positions keep us very busy!

This weekend is our annual St. Patrick’s Day Dinner, complete with live music and a delicious meal of corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, and all the trimmings. We will be helping out with the cooking and meat carving, and it is always a fun day working in the church kitchen!

Otherwise, life continues on. We enjoy our walks with the dogs in the mornings and evenings, and the time we spend together after work (often in front of the TV, not always watching a show that both of us enjoy). The good news is that after 12 years together, we still enjoy each other’s company and just appreciate being a couple. We are waiting for some news from the courts to tell us what our potential legal status might be, and appreciate the efforts of our US Senator Dianne Feinstein to repeal DOMA.

Until then, we are still trying to figure out how we are supposed to file our federal and state income taxes. The discrepancies are mind-boggling!