Taxes are taxing

Yay, I’m done with my taxes. I had started my federal return a while ago, and today went back to it and filed electronically. Then I filed my California return electronically as well. The state return was convenient, especially since I didn’t have any differing federal vs. state adjustments to reconcile, but some of the state e-file instructions were confusing. If I had followed the “enter amount from line X from Form 1040” kind of instructions blindly without also reading some of the regular form instructions on their site, I would’ve over-reported a big subtraction to my income.

My first inkling something was wrong was when it said that I qualified for a renter’s credit (which I normally don’t qualify for) and that I was expecting a full refund of all my state tax withholding! I wish! But I went back a few pages, saw what was going on, and changed some of the numbers. I’m getting a small refund. Good enough.

Next year’s process for this tax year will be interesting. Thom and I became registered domestic partners this year, and in California RDPs must file with the same status as married couples. OK, fine. But of course the federal government doesn’t recognize same-sex couples, so we will both have to file as single there and also create a draft “married” tax return on which to base our state taxes. Fun!

Factoid: As an example of the non-recognition, health insurance premiums for partners are federally taxed (where they otherwise wouldn’t be for married spouses); at least California doesn’t tax this, since tax treatment of registered domestic partners is basically equal to that of spouses.

Well, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. For now, I’m going to enjoy anticipating my refunds and stimulating the economy.

Honest men, continued

While the memory is still fresh in my mind, I just wanted to flashback to several days ago, when Thom and I registered our domestic partnership.

Although domestic partnerships in California can be filed through the mail, we wanted to make it as special an occasion as possible, so we filed in person at the San Francisco regional office of the California secretary of state. It’s a nondescript office on the fourteenth floor of the state building, and it seemed everyone else there was taking care of more business-related tasks: certifying documents, registering a corporation, etc.

Our number was called, and the person at the window was so gracious and almost happy to see us when we told her we wanted to become domestic partners. (I later asked her name: Elsa.) After taking our fee and forms, she got up and said, “I’ll go enter your information. I’ll be back, and between now and then…”

I thought she was going to say, “You’ll officially be partners.” But she said, “You’ll have one more chance to decide if you want to do this, before I transmit your information to Sacramento.”

Thom wondered if people really back out at this point, and she said, “You’d be surprised.” Ha.

She came back. “Well?”

I don’t remember exactly what we said, but we were sure. We were ready.

She left again and returned several minutes later, this time coming out into the lobby where we were sitting. She put her hands on our shoulders, congratulated us, and gave us a letter and our certificate of domestic partnership. This was really happening. I was so happy.

Thom and I left the office, and hugged and kissed in the hallway. We took a photo of ourselves with our certificate and then left the building.

It was Friday, the 13th. And it had started to rain. Still, we’ve always said we’re both pretty lucky.

Honest men

Big news: Thom and I got hitched! Basically. We registered as domestic partners, which means we now have most of the same rights as spouses in the state of California. We’ve been meaning to do this for a long while and finally decided to do it today, as close to Valentine’s Day as possible, which actually meant Friday the 13th. (Obviously we’re not superstitious.)

We went to the San Francisco office of the California Secretary of State to register in person, and here we are, all newly domestic-partnered:

Just partnered

Afterward we had a Coraline evening: we went to the Cartoon Art Museum to see an exhibit of Coraline art, and then to the Metreon to see Coraline in 3D. I loved it.

Our Valentine’s Day weekend continues with a little road trip. Tomorrow we drive down to San Simeon to visit Hearst Castle, then up the coast a bit from there to have dinner in Carmel. We’ll overnight in Monterey, then on Sunday visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Love is in the air!

[See also: “Honest men, continued.”]