Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Next Move

My parents bought a house. They lived there, raised two children there, watched them both move away, and live there still. That is what a house and a home should be. You buy it, and you stay put. That's the point.

That also means my only experience with moving has been when I helped friends, or to and from college dorms. All of which are not bit deals. With no experience, I planned last year's move very carefully. Monty said he had helped many people move and I was the most organized ever. That's quite nice.

The other thing about moving, that hadn't even crossed my mind to be something complicated, is taxes. I've worked in Virginia for the past near-six years, but I've lived in Maryland for most of five of them. Virginia has a special agreement with the surrounding states that residents who live elsewhere but work in VA don't have to pay VA taxes. This is why this was never an issue before.

Now that I've moved across state lines, I have to file taxes in two states. This wouldn't be so bad if I had a job in MD, moved to VA and then got a new job here. It's a bit more complicated because all of my income comes from VA. I'm still required to pay taxes in MD for those first five months that I lived there in 2008. Because all of my income comes from VA, I have to pay taxes on the entire year, not just the seven months that I was living here. That's mostly alright, because I get a credit for a portion of those taxes that were paid to MD. Thank goodness I have a program that does this math for me!

What I'm finding, though, is that the program is telling me my VA tax return is a substantial amount, almost as much as I will get from my federal return (that has that nice student loan interest deducted). This just seems like way too much money. I've looked at the numbers that I plugged into the program, I compared them with all my records, and I did the math myself. I'm pretty convinced that it's right. And don't get me wrong; I would love to be getting a tax return of this amount. It would really really help me out. I've been looking for insight on this particular situation online. Many people talk about the filing in two states thing, however nothing notes my specific situation as an example (living in one state and working in another then moving to the working state) so the information I'm finding doesn't exactly apply to me.

LDS says she's pretty good at these things and has offered to look over my forms and double-check my math. It should help to have another pair of eyes on it. The real issue that I'm running into it not the amount of the expected return, but that each state uses their own forms, therefore their own terminology, and that makes me uncertain that I actually plugged in the right numbers.

I suppose if taxes were easy, no one would fret about it!

The next time I need to move across state lines (which I'm hoping is never just because of how complicated it can get), I'm going to do it on New Year's Day. That way, this won't be an issue again!

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