Friday, April 3, 2015

Reporting to Uncle Sam

I have paid Uncle Sam. Or, to be more accurate, I have reported all my income to Uncle Sam, as is required of me as an American citizen. I don't actually pay him, because I make less than the amount of foreign income I'm allowed to exempt from U.S. taxes.

I do, however, pay Her Majesty, in a slow trickle throughout the year. Which is fine. Living in England, I have to do my part, right?

I sat down yesterday morning and polished off my U.S. tax return in about an hour. It's a tremendous relief to be done with it. Dave still has to do his, which is going to be more challenging, since he's the principle breadwinner.

I've always prided myself on doing my own taxes, but at some point I think we're going to have to hire someone to help us. When Dave and I get legally married (as opposed to our current civil union) or if we buy or come into property -- particularly property, or a share of property, both here and in the U.S. -- things are going to be more complicated.

Fortunately I could breeze over the Obamacare questions -- a long checklist of "do you have insurance and where and which of these kinds?" Rather than a long checklist of options it would be nice if the U.S. simply created a universal health care system, like the NHS, which covers me. Then there wouldn't be that quagmire of "choice." But that would be too easy, and god forbid poor and well-off Americans should sit side-by-side in the same waiting room. (To be fair, lots of better-off British people have private insurance, too.)

We spent the rest of yesterday "puttering" (that word again!) around the house and garden. Dave ordered more plants (argh!) which he put in the ground, and I took my camera out with my macro lens and got some interesting shots, which I'll share here at some point.

Last night we started watching "The Jinx," the HBO documentary series about former real estate magnate Robert Durst -- who over several decades was suspected of murdering his wife and another female friend, went on the lam, posed as a mute woman to escape the law, was believed to have killed and dismembered his next-door-neighbor and finally got arrested after shoplifting a sandwich with $38,000 in the trunk of his car. You can't make this stuff up!

(Photo: A pair of birdbaths in front of a house in North London, on Tuesday.)


  1. More plants? Dave's probably thinking 'more photographs?' I'm always buying more plants even when I don't know where I'm going to put them. like now. I have a rose bush I bought and still have to get in the ground. And we might actually file our income tax on time this year.

  2. The last time I went to the nursery I absolutely did NOT buy more than I needed.
    It was a first.
    Perhaps I have matured.

  3. P.S. I adore those birdbaths. ADORE!

  4. I do our taxes every year. Then last year, I messed up and was late, so I went to the office and they did them for me for free... in under five minutes. Not even any waiting time. It always takes me hours! I felt a little embarrassed, but I might go there again.

  5. Argh....I still have my taxes to do. I finally purchased Turbo Tax today so hopefully I'll get it done this weekend. I really do hate doing it. I watched a short PBS story about Durst and you are so right. Totally unbelievable.

  6. We started giving our tax stuff to an accountant a few years back, and it was such a relief.

    And I love the photos today -- and look forward to seeing shots of your garden!

  7. Mike does our taxes (mostly - for some reason I do the city tax form). This year we owed $9 Federal tax - which is fabulous for us. Mike prefers to owe instead of get a refund.

    I'm all aflutter at the idea of a wedding :)