Mom’s 2015 taxes are 99% done. It’s taken about 12 hours to bring this to fruition, not including the time its taken to hunt for and spirit pertinent documents out of her house during 2015 (mostly the charitable receipts, less they be forever lost). In all honesty, driving and ferry riding aside, 20 hours is probably a fair estimate. Turbo Tax makes this easier than it would be otherwise. The actual Turbo Tax wielding took no more than two hours Monday afternoon. What’s left is to figure out why Turbo Tax refuses to print beyond Schedule A… The 1040 has all of the schedules rolled up, but the program is being mysterious. I walked away when swear words dropped from my mouth like heavy rain on a skylight. This is a solvable program issue, rather than a tax return issue. I am feeling pretty damn virtuous.

2015 charitable donations are down again.  The overall trend, not including a planned (discussed) large contribution mom made as a memorial gift in dad’s name in 2014, is going in the right direction. Again, I attribute this to Catalog Choice. After my father died I came to understand the charitable giving calamity that was going on while catching up several years of my parent’s un-filed tax returns. This website has been invaluable in stemming the charitable bloodletting in my mom’s financial life. 
It’s slow sorting this paperwork all at once. Reconciling seven gifts to one charity involves matching up thank you letters (with, “Oh, Please Give Us More MONEY! verbiage) with mom’s bank statements (check copies included, thank God). Yet, there are leftover receipts from the charities that require me to figure out how she gave the money away. Hunting through two additional active bank accounts and one credit card make this a minor forensic bookkeeping endeavor. Multiply this by two dozen charities. In the end, of course, I have more checks made out to charity than I do receipts. If the IRS questions this (doubtful), cashed checks will suffice, or there will be phone calls to make.
In all of this, I get the twitches as everything comes to order, in that it’s a symbol of how disorderly mom’s mind is. Despite having pulled these documents from mom’s home multiple times throughout the year, seeing everything all at once, over 2 days is dismaying. For 2016 the spreadsheets will be updated as the documents come my way.

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