I’ve navigated mom’s 2018 taxes to the 93% point. I confess to poor file keeping during 2018. All the data is present, but not necessarily cross-filed to where it needed to reside. This added about 3-hours to my task. Yes, not bad given a year’s worth of paper-wrangling, but far below my self-expectations.

In case you haven’t noticed, the tax code has changed remarkably. After discovering that the new personal exemption limit netted us a better result than itemizing our deductions on Schedule A, I assumed charitable donations were off the table. I experimentally plugged a couple of monetary donations into mom’s tax return, and was surprised to see an effect on her overall refund. Entering the rest of her charitable donations made for a few additional hours of work (using our tax software’s donation application), but it was worth it.

It was an emotional trip entering the charity donations for mom’s taxes. 2018 was the year I had to make hard cuts while emptying the Island house. Entering these items in the tax software made me melancholy. There were lots of simple things that I know exactly how my parents used in there day-to-day life. The best example is their blender:

When I was a kiddo my mom started making mayonnaise in this blender. Dad took over the art (and it is an art) at some point. Mom kept it up after dad died for a limited time. Letting go of the bender that made our mayonnaise for 50 years was hard enough. Entering the blender as a line item in our tax software (for $3 when it was worth 50-years of home-made mayo) kinda crushed my soul. I did this at least 75 times.

I work hard at separating emotion from logic. I walk both paths steadily. Today was a challenge. Never try to make mayo in inclement weather.   🙃

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