Wednesday, 8 April 2015

08:30 – The federal taxes are finished except for printing out the forms and writing the check. Our state income tax is based on the federal return, so doing it is a simple matter of transferring data from the federal 1040 and then plugging in some state-specific stuff.

Another police-involved shooting, this one in Charleston, SC. I don’t expect any social unrest to result from this one. It was a white cop shooting a black man, but in this case they’ve arrested the cop and charged him with murder. If the early reports–which seem fully supported by video shot by a bystander–are accurate, this cop deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison. The cop pulled the guy for having a taillight out. He used his Taser on the guy, who then started running. The cop apparently fired eight rounds at the guy, who appears to have been hit only once or perhaps twice. I wonder where the other bullets ended up.

Tomorrow is crunch day for Greece, the first of many crunch days scheduled for the near future. It’s unclear at this point whether Greece will (or can) repay the monies owed to the IMF. If they don’t repay the IMF, very bad things are going to start happening quickly. Technically, Greece won’t be in immediate default, because there’s a 30-day grace period. That’s unlikely to matter to the markets, of course. If Greece doesn’t make the payment, the markets will hammer not just Greek bonds, but all bonds from the Southern Tier. Merkel desperately wants Greece to remain in the euro and EU, but her voters, the German taxpayers, have had more than enough. They perceive Greeks as deadbeats, and aren’t willing to pay the bills for Greece. This is a fraught situation, with Greece believing that Germany is bluffing, and vice versa. They’re both wrong. Neither is bluffing. So there’s a very real chance that a “Grexit” will result from a “Grexident”. Bond markets haven’t priced in the effect of a Greek exit from the euro, so if Greece does crash out of the euro the bond markets will go crazy.

11:21 – Boy, I just had a scare. I did a first “eyeball” pass on our state income taxes, and found that they have quintupled over last year’s. That’s not a typo. Our total state income taxes for 2014 will be literally five times what they were for 2013.

That’s because North Carolina has “simplified” state income taxes. I knew when I read about them simplifying state taxes that we were going to get screwed big-time, but I wasn’t expecting it to be this bad. So that’s four big checks that I’ll be writing: federal income taxes due, state income taxes due, federal estimated tax, and state estimated tax. And all of them have way too many zeros.

Fortunately, we won’t owe any penalties or interest on the state income taxes because Barbara’s state tax withholding and my state tax estimated taxes total about three times the total state taxes last year. But since our state income tax has quintupled, we’ll still have to write a big check.