Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Tribulations of Tax Time

Last year's filing for nonprofit status with the feds was easy.  I had no clue it was so easy, in fact.  I found the 990-EZ form three weeks into trying to figure out the long form.  I had to read the instructions, then look up words to see what they meant, read again, research, but the work trying to fill out and understand the jargon in the long form was beneficial to me in understanding a nonprofit business.  I learned a lot.

But when I found the EZ form 990, and knew I qualified, being so small, I filled it out that night, paid the substantial fee, from a donation I'd saved for a year and a half, since it was given to me for that purpose.  And within two weeks, had nonprofit status.

Then, since I'd filed with the state to become a business, a couple weeks before the start of my chosen fiscal year, I had to fill out an e post card update with the feds, for those two weeks.  Again, easy as pie.  That was last year.

This year, the site where I'd done all that, so quickly, apparently a private contractor, is gone and I was redirected to the main IRS site.

I had to fill out a new lengthy profile, that included a username of certain length, a password that included small and upper case letters, numbers and special symbols.  I had to choose a special phrase, that will appear on any email communication.  I had to choose a site phrase, that will appear on the site when I visit to tell me its not a scam site.  I had to choose a site photo, that will also appear, to tell me I'm not on a scam site.  And answer many security questions.  All the while chrome is warning me the site I"m on is not secure.  When I click for more information on why the site is not considered secure, a site that above all others, should be secure, chrome told me the encryption used is obsolete.

'Omg', I thought.  Nevertheless, I clicked submit on the user profile, and get a blank screen, as the IRS site tried to process the submission.  But chrome timed out on that attempt and I gave up.

The next day, I tried again, methodically creating the profile with all the security bells and whistles again, then clicking submit.  This time it went through.  (The email notification sent me that someone had created a user profile and if this is not correct or me to call the IRS did not contain the secret email phrase I was required to create that is to appear on all IRS communication.)

  And when I tried to continue, after the profile submission went through, to fill out the 8 question e postcard filing for the nonprofit, I was met with an error page and was told to try again some other time.

I still haven't filed the postcard.  I have four months to do it, but I like to get things done and I must file that before I file the annual report with the Oregon Department of Justice and supply proof I did so.

It was so easy last year.  But this year?  Not so much.

I don't surf the web much anymore.  You have to have so many usernames and unique passwords.  I'm fed up with it all.  I can't remember all those different usernames I create and passwords and they vanish from my password vault anyhow if I accidentally or purposely clear cache and include saved passwords.

I have a friend who has said to hell with it and uses the same password with two variations everywhere but mostly stays clear of websites that demand passwords.  I'm the same now.  If they want a user profile, forget about it.   If you use a site once a year, like the IRS, I have no problem creating a new password each time by saying I forgot it, which is always true.

But what about when they forget me completely, as they did during the last year, when they apparently dropped a contractor?  What about that?

The Happy Cat Club isn't dead.  We had a great first year in fact.  Granted, our donations kept us probably looking from the outside like a speck of dust, but the numbers of cats helped on very little money was rather impressive.

I have every receipt for every dime spent too, of HCC money, filed away under the month and year it was spent.  I have donations categorized under name, kind, amount, with contact info for the person in case they are ever audited and need proof, or I am.  I have details of every cat situation that required expenditure of HCC money or volunteer time, listed with costs, number of cats helped, number of people helped and volunteer hours spent.  Meticulous?  Maybe.  Probably more like OCD or paranoid.

We're alive and well here at HCC and I hope I can find a way to file that e postcard.

Onward to infinity!


  1. I've never, ever filled out my own tax form. (well... maybe before I met Bill... back in that life)... but we had the farm, rentals and both of us had "real" jobs... way too complicated for us... darned thing would run 25 pages to mail in. Even now we send the whole thing.... rental stuff, 1099's, or whatever... to that same CPA back in Ohio. It's kinda costly, but I figure he's saved us both from a term in prison ;-0 I'd just faint if I were in the same boat as our mutual friend, Jim. He's still dealing with taxes from when his mother died. ARG!

    1. I would jump off a bridge I think, with the weight Jim bears, taxes from back over a decade, trying to catch up. And it is way too complicated, with even small incidentals, let alone bigger ones, like home businesses, rentals, etc. Best to hand it over to an accountant. But I hear many of them aren't quite "honest" or up to date on law.

  2. Taxes! Never fun whatever the situation. I hope you get things worked out soon, and good for you for keeping such good records. Once again, you are showing that the cats are your top priority, because nothing should happen to your group because of such good records.

  3. Sigh.
    We have a government website which we are required to use for a number of things. And it, like this one, has significant issues. I think yours are worse though. So many bells and whistles and hoops to leap through.
    Good luck.

    1. I think the IRS got hacked last year, might be why things changed. I can't remember.

  4. What an ordeal! I'm so glad you jumped through all these hoops to help so many cats. Bless you, my dear.