I've stayed up much too late this evening on an itemized deduction scavenger hunt...shuffling through piles of paper, scanning through electronic bank statements...realizing, hey, that book I bought on Amazon a few months ago is arguably job-related!
I wish TurboTax would add sound effects to the little refund counters up in the right hand corner that show (in green) the amount of your refund :) or (in red) the amounts you owe. When you enter some kind of deduction you can watch the numbers run up, and I can't help but hear that slot machine coin-dropping sound in my head, after losing money in the big government casino all year now I get to win some of it back! [I was in Vegas recently for a union conference and all that noise is still rattling around my brain.]
I am especially pleased to announce that in 2008 I hit the 7.5% requirement for medical expenses to be deductible. I made a spreadsheet with all the months and all my different bills, I'm very proud of it and I want to bring it to my mom so she can put it on the fridge to show how good I did.
There are a few people / entities I need to thank for making the 7.5% milestone possible: first, my employer, for doing its part to make 7.5% of my income such an attainable goal; to my insurance plan that requires me to pay full price for prescriptions until I reach the $2500 deductible; to the unknown Santa Rosa Scorchers player who ran up and slammed into me during that game in June 2007...I don't know why people kept trying to do that because it seems to cause injury. That hit was minor compared to what the hospital, physical therapist, surgeon, anesthesiologist, and knee brace manufacturer threw at me later. Like Ishmael said at the end of Moby Dick, "I only am escaped alone to tell thee."