Before this year, I have never, ever done my own taxes.
Yeah, I know. My dad always helped me out and filed them so I wouldn’t have to worry about it. I didn’t think twice about it until I got married and decided to file jointly with John.
He was surprised, possibly even shocked, that I had no idea how to file taxes. So much so that he decided that he would teach me how to file when we did our federal tax return in February. Due to frustration and confusion with the fact that I was in school part of last year and had a loan but also had a scholarship, filing our federal return was not the most pleasant experience we have ever had despite the fact that it resulted in a refund that has helped us live for the past two months. For this reason, we decided to wait to file our state and local taxes until closer to April 15th.
Last week, I realized that it was indeed closer to April 15th. Since John was hard at work designing a website (his first freelance web design job!), I asked for our W2s and sat down to figure out how to file taxes, all the while fearing that we would actually owe on our local taxes. Upon searching Google, I discovered the Ohio Department of Taxation website, which made filing state taxes a cinch. We even got a small refund! Then came the confusing part… local taxes.
When I got around to looking at local taxes, I realized why we had each been sent two W2s – one was for local taxes and one was for Bowling Green school district taxes. Thoroughly bewildered by the separation of these taxes (yes, I was that ignorant regarding taxes), I did a spot of research and realized that we had to file both local and school district taxes. Though I dreaded discovering whether this meant we owed even more money or not, I set about to filing them anyway since I got audited by Bowling Green last year and wasn’t about to not file this year. As it turns out, we got a refund on school district tax (though not really enough to write home about) and actually didn’t owe any more for our local taxes (a miracle in and of itself since Bowling Green loves to tax its residents). With the tracking down of a post office collection box in which to drop our local taxes in the mail, the adventure of filing taxes was complete at long last.
So there you have it folks. I learned to file taxes. (Yay! I finally feel like an adult! Strange how bills and finances will do that…) We are getting a very small but still valued refund. And you do have to file local and school district taxes. For my friends in Bowling Green, they do audit so you might want to double check all that. More adventures and updates to follow soon. 🙂