Saturday, March 11, 2017

Income tax time

I just finished my income tax via Turbo tax on line and will be getting back most of my automatic deduction money.

I started doing and paying my own taxes when Lolo got sick (about two years before he died) and Chano took over his pension money etc. to run the farm etc. so I no longer had access to this information. Prenup agreement meant I couldn't use his money so no problem, but usually we did file together, and we even paid our accountant to figure out what we owed.

Since I did not have access to his financial information so it was easier to do it myself even though "married but filing separately" meant paying more taxes. for 2016, however, I was widowed and filed as such, which made it a lot easier.

ITaxes are complicated: t wasn't just the taxes on my SS and pension, but reporting interest on every tiny savings account. Then there is the proviso that you have to pay US taxes income on income from foreign businesses and your savings. No problem : I don't have that much and don't have to report it.

And Lolo's land and businesses were run by a relative who is a Philippine citizen to get around the US taxes on "income earned abroad".  By Philippine law, a foreigner cannot own businesses here, or property.

Extended families do have an advantage.

But a lot of those reports on "US citizens who gave up their citizenship" is about taxes, not patriotism. For example, if I wanted to own property or a business here, I have to be a local. That would mean giving up my US citizenship since I would have to give up my previous country to do so.

However, my husband, as a "Balikbayan" (returning citizen) automatically could get his Philippine citizenship back without denouncing his US citizenship.

Alas, now that he is dead, the only thing preventing his son from throwing me out when he is in his manic phase is a Philippine law that allows the widow to live in her usual house that used to be owned by the husband even though she did not inherit it.

I'll probably move out in the next few years, especially since I am suing him in court not to probate the will...long story.

I am confused about the part about health insurance. In the past, I just had to fill in a blank (I have PhilHealth) so no problem. This year, the blank is only designated health plans so I had to say I didn't have insurance.

I hope I don't get in trouble since my health insurance is local and not on the approved list so I didn't know what to fill in the blank so I said no. Of  course, I do have Medicare, but they won't pay for medical care in the Philippines.

One does hope Trumpie boy will simplify the tax code. Maybe even not require reporting income from interest and investments if it is under 100 dollars (or 1000 dollars). I mean, all that money sending out forms to report 24 dollars in interest?

My income is low enough I don't pay a lot of taxes, so will get refunded the automatic contributions from my IRA etc.

But it is frustrating for elders, which is why we always had an accountant in the past.

No comments: