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These Are A Few Of My Favorite Peeves...

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These Are A Few Of My Favorite Peeves...

Postby Blue&White » Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:22 pm

So, we have a bunch of aging curmudgeons on this board, and I thought it was about time we had a thread where we can just go off on our various pet peeves. How no one thought to start this thread over the past 10 years is a mystery, but there you go. Anyway, here is my current peeve.

My wife is self employed and I have to pay all her taxes myself, including the double FICA (that's a peeve in and of itself, but life is about choices and we made one - we also get some deductions she wouldn't get if she worked for someone so I guess it evens out). So, I was doing her "quarterly" taxes tonight and there are a number of things that irritate me about this process, as follows:

First, the "quarterly" payments are a misnomer. Quarterly implies every 3 months. For Uncle Same (and at least PA), it goes like this: quarter one is 3 months, quarter two is 2 months, quarter 3 is 3 months, quarter 4 is four months. And, I screw this up every single year. Inevitably, I either miss paying timely on quarter 2 or quarter 3 (btw, I just noticed the 2, 3, 4 thing meshes up for the first time, so now I may remember). I just paid my wife's Q4 taxes, which also includes her Q3 taxes. Writing a check to the feds for ~$11k is not how I wanted to spend a Sunday night. Why can't quarter just be 3 months each? How hard is that? And, the local taxes are 3 months each so I'm always late or early on someone.

Second, I'm still writing checks to pay my taxes. "Why" you ask? Because if I want to pay the feds or state online, they charge me for the convenience. It's not a lot of money but that's not the point. There is absolutely no way I'm paying a service fee for the privilege of paying my taxes. I don't mind paying taxes per se (although, before whatever refunds I may get, as a family our federal tax bill is greater than the average US income, a tax burden I find to be a tad high), but the idea that I have to pay them to use a system that makes life easier on them is insane. There is no reason I should be paying to do my taxes on line. So, I just mail everything. Which I know is less convenient for all involved. But, I don't care. They are not getting a single additional penny out of me.

Finally, the work sheets they give you are a trap for the unwary. I literally make 3X what my wife makes. If I used the work sheets they gave, I'd be seriously under paying on my taxes and would probably owe penalties. This last one may not be a fair peeve, but I find it annoying all the same. Fortunately for me, I'm aware of this and I have an excel sheet I use that calculates all my wife's taxes at the our combined income rates. But, I can see people getting really screwed by this if they are not properly informed.

Anyway, these are my current peeves. I'm sure I'll have more as time goes on.
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Re: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Peeves...

Postby SouthernLion » Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:48 am

Since we moved west we are in the same independent contractor boat, and I wholeheartedly share the tax peeve. In spades. However, just fresh off some travel I’ll move on to another peeve – the airline industry.

First of all, these f***ers do everything possible as an industry (important to note IMO that the employees themselves generally are sympathetic) to shake you down for every possible available penny on your person, while making the travel process as uncomfortable as possible for as many people as possible. All the while, fuel costs – which can amount to anywhere between 20 and 40% of total operational costs – have plummeted, yet fares...haven't!

So here’s the little anecdote from this weekend. Because the above-referenced f***ers that run United charge you to check a bag, my wife and I combine our stuff into one fairly large but legal piece of soft luggage. We’ve carried it on numerous times during the past year. And our trick is that because ALL flights are ALWAYS full, we usually volunteer to check the bag for free at the gate when they make their little announcement soliciting volunteers. So, at the N.O. airport they don’t make the luggage-check announcement, and I proceed to carry it on, pulling it past umpteen United employees without them batting an eye. I get on the plane and the ‘greeting’ stewardess practically faints when she sees it and tells me “no way” can you stow that bag above your seat. I tell her that I’ve carried it on without any problems before, but she’s insistent. Meanwhile, some first-class seat clown sitting right in front of us begins laughing and making a thinly-veiled mockery of my intentions. I glare at him (seeing he was much smaller than me), knowing that if worse comes to worse I’d still have what it takes to stuff him into the overhead compartment.

But back to the airlines. So I had to make the walk of shame back to the gate, passing like a hundred people waiting to get on the plane, bumping into some of them because it seems they even cut down the width of the jetways, maybe to make it seem like the plane you’re about to board is really roomy. I get to back to the gate and the gate lady mercifully checks the bag without charging me. Hallelujah. Then it’s wait, wait, wait, ‘cause I’m now at the back of the hundred-passenger line, to get on the plane and into my toddler-sized seat for the next three hours.

I’d hate to work for a United or Delta at the customer-service level, as you would be surrounded by frustrated travelers all day long. I try to remember that those people don’t make the stupid greedy rules, but sometimes it’s very difficult.
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Re: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Peeves...

Postby psu_dad » Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:35 am

It's amazing how air travel has changed in my lifetime. When I first started traveling on business in the 70s, air travel was not nearly as popular as it is today. It was expensive and mostly the domain of businessmen and the wealthy. The TV commercials back then never mentioned price because there was no price competition. The prices were fixed. The commercials focused on how much you would be pampered on your flight.

I used to take a TWA widebody to the west coast 4 or 5 times a year. The planes were always half-empty and there was plenty of room to stretch out. And contrary to jokes told at the time, the hot meals served were very good. The stuffed breast of chicken that TWA served was terrific, And, not for nothing, the stewardesses were hot. And there was no TSA.

Today, air travel has all the glamour of a Greyhound bus ride to Toledo.
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Re: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Peeves...

Postby Carl Spackler » Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:19 pm

In order,
Taxes. Our tax guy does them and files electronically but provides us a page we sign and if we owe any more he provides the envelop, the paper work and everything but a stamp for us to send in by tax day. We do use a check when we owe although looking at the Mrs. last 2014 processed check stub we should be receiving, not owing although as B&W noted his level is on the high end ours is not and the Mrs. ends up with OT quite often (another subject) that skews the withholding amounts of each pay.

Also noted the medical plan benefit listed on her last check of the year stub. This is the set up to tax our medical benefits I suspect. Quite obvious.

On the SS you pay "double" as a self employed person. We all pay it, those who think it is a real deal to pay only "half" don't see it as I do, that is a benefit as well and if not withheld by your employer it should be an amount that count's toward you total benefit package and compensation package. We've been boiled a degree at a time so long now we look at the "employers" half as some ethereal cost not tagged to your employment. So you pay half of your SS in withholding and your employer pays the other "half" which is all assigned to you as compensation of a sort. I can't wait until the Fed asks employes to pay tax on the SS employer withheld benefit too, a triple taxation.

On the PA Quarterly, I'm in complete agreement. Take a subject and complicate it. When we lived in PA but I worked in DE I ran into the wrath of the PA state tax guy/gals. They had an obscure description as to the method of paying into the PA tax after you paid the DE tax. I studied it and thought I did the right thing but alas, no Carl, here is how it done. They didn't explain anything but sent the same verbiage as on the tax forms and book. Next year same thing. Finally after the third year I discovered what the problem was yet their explanation would have led me to again file against their preview. Finally I sent a letter to my state rep with the situation as many people in his district who worked in DE or a few in NJ. Low and behold, the next year the tax form and instructions had been changed, not lowered but explained by a human, not an accountant.

Lastly as to your wife's payments being way too low for your joint return, you are one of the group that looks at it and says this can't be the right amount because our total income subject to tax ratchets up the brackets too much for this instruction to be correct. You adjusted, I did the same. Fix it on the front end and you won't be sorry on tax day.

Airlines: My worst experience was not due to the airline but an @$$ in 1st class blocking my way to pre board that I''m sure I already explained in detail back in July. Mr 1st class appeared to be an alcoholic as he consumed six or seven hard liquor drinks on a hour and twenty min flight.

We checked two bags at ticketing as we are too old to want to play the game with the Airline folks as Southern noted. They also allow you to pay extra to guarantee your seat assignments as adjacent husband and wife, nice money grab. The attendant who ordered me to adjust my seat to full upright position as I showed her three times how the seat back was broken and would not hold in the upright position. She didn't understand English apparently. Maybe she was having a bad day but I can't control their broken equipment.
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Re: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Peeves...

Postby SouthernLion » Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:35 pm

I knew that stopping at just one airline pet peeve would be impossible. Every airline has this scattered, chaotic boarding process which always results in an intercom announcement to 'hurry up and get your sh** stowed 'cause we have a schedule to make.' Is there any reason why they couldn't have passengers board in strict reverse seating order, back-to-front? Or would that just be too simple and flyer-friendly?
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Re: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Peeves...

Postby Nittany Flier » Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:39 pm

I have a couple minor pet peeves. I grind my teeth and grimmace when I hear someone refer to our national legislative body as the congress and the senate. The other is when people refer to the democratic party. The DEMOCRAT party (along with any other political party) is anything but democratic.
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Re: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Peeves...

Postby Blue&White » Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:20 pm

SouthernLion wrote:I knew that stopping at just one airline pet peeve would be impossible. Every airline has this scattered, chaotic boarding process which always results in an intercom announcement to 'hurry up and get your sh** stowed 'cause we have a schedule to make.' Is there any reason why they couldn't have passengers board in strict reverse seating order, back-to-front? Or would that just be too simple and flyer-friendly?


This
Drives
Me
Insane

The problem, near as i can tell, is with all the mergers, 50% of every flight is filled with people who have enough status to qualify for preferred boarding, and they are sitting all over the plane. So, you end up with a boarding procedure that takes 4X as long as necessary. Just scrap the whole preboarding thing, board the damn plane from back to front, and be done with it.

Btw, I predict, given the personalities on this forum, this thread quickly becomes our biggest offseason topic.
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Re: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Peeves...

Postby psu_dad » Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:32 pm

I predict, given the personalities on this forum, this thread quickly becomes our biggest offseason topic.


I could fill an entire thread just complaining about people in front of me at the XPress Checkout line with more than the designated number of items ... all of whom will be serving prolonged prison sentences when I become Supreme Commander of the Universe.

PS - B&W is right about preferred boarding status. Boarding from back to front was standard for years, until the airlines figured out they could market preferred boarding as a feature. Anything for a buck.
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Re: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Peeves...

Postby psu_dad » Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:50 pm

I grind my teeth and grimmace when I hear someone refer to our national legislative body as the congress and the senate.


I have a theory on that.

Technically, both Representatives and Senators are Congressmen, since Congress is comprised of the HOR and the Senate. Senators, however, prefer to be called "Senator Peter Pantload", because it gives them more distinction, being a more exclusive club. Representatives, on the other hand, prefer to be called "Congressmen David Docuhebag", because it disguises the fact that they're in the "lower" body of Congress.

And the media plays along with this.
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Re: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Peeves...

Postby psu_dad » Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:52 pm

And no, I don't apologize for double posting.

"I apologize for nothing."
- Coach Norman Dale
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