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Jan 20, 2021
A painted-cloud sunset from Jackson Street Bridge in Atlanta
Most weeks, I have an idea of what I want to write about in my blog. I get a little head start on Tuesday evening if I can by deciding what photos I want to use and jotting down some quick ideas.
It's not always easy coming up with a post, but I love writing. I love the challenge, and I love staying in touch with people who follow my work.
Last night, I was having fun editing these two photos and decided I'd use them for today's blog post, but I couldn't decide what I wanted to write about. I thought the clouds in both photos were amazing. They were so colorful, vibrant, and painterly.
I remember taking both photos, standing on the Jackson Street Bridge one evening with the Atlanta Urban Photo Walkers. We started at the bridge, walked downtown, made a big loop, and ended up back at the bridge on time for sunset.
I challenged myself that night to shoot with the same lens the whole walk. I used my 85mm prime lens on my Nikon full-frame DSLR. That meant I couldn't zoom in or out, which I find difficult. I love getting close to things, so it seemed like the 85mm was a perfect choice.
After walking around with only the use of the 85mm, I realized how much I love to zoom out wide too.
So...you see how the photos lead my thoughts.
Sometimes, something comes up on the spur of the moment that shapes my blog post too.
This morning I have a quick rant. I just got off the phone with the USPS. Of course, I didn't actually get to talk to anyone.
I noticed that my estimated quarterly tax check hadn't been cashed yet and I was worried. Thankfully, I always send it with tracking so I can see when it's delivered.
It was delivered on the 14th - whew - one day before the deadline.
But...it wasn't delivered to the right zip code, or at least not the zipcode I wrote on the envelope.
I called the post office. After getting through a myriad of options, the automated voice told me hold time was an hour or more.
The good news? I can put my phone number in and they'll call me back. That was a half-hour ago, so we'll see.
In the meantime, I called the GA Department of Revenue.
I figured I'd be on hold there as well but they answered pretty quickly.
They got me sorted in about 10 minutes.
Yes - the check was delivered to another section of the department that has a different zip code and was then forwarded to the correct department.
Taxes. They're so damn complicated.
Taxes are so complicated that I can't do them myself. I have to pay someone several hundred dollars a year to do my taxes or I'm afraid I'd go to jail.
I'm a right-brained person, and figuring out numbers isn't in my wheelhouse at all.
Plus. The rules? Come on.
The IRS can probably make anyone a criminal any time they'd like by scrutinizing your tax return.
I did a quick search and found this over at the Tax Foundation.
The tax code itself has more words than the King James Bible, and to really understand the tax code, one has to be familiar with over 70,000 pages of statutes, regulations, and case law.
While I believe in taxes and that we all need to pitch in and do our part, I find the tax code itself immoral.
I got an email from my website provider this morning that announced "Action Required." I started sweating as I was reading it - I'm not kidding.
If you're a small business selling anything on the internet, you know what I'm talking about.
New laws are always emerging.
The email was about a new law mandating that whether you have a physical presence in a state or not, you now have to collect taxes.
When I started selling prints on my website, I only had to collect taxes if the print was purchased and mailed to someone in Georgia. That's because my "nexus" is in Georgia. Georgia is the only place I have an "office."
That means my website has to automatically identify and collect taxes from every zip code in Georgia. Thankfully, for me, I set one button and the site automatically does that.
I marvel at how they have to set up the site so that everything is properly identified and the right percentage of tax is collected.
I found out this morning that tax will now be collected from everyone no matter where they purchase from.
I'm so grateful for my Art Storefront this morning because they'll be handling most of the hard stuff. I was sweating because I have to go in and fill out about six forms and then upload them to my site.
I know I'm in for HOURS of work with this.
All the legalese sets my teeth on edge. Am I doing it right? What if I'm wrong? Will I spend the rest of my life trying to pay off an IRS bill?
When I was first married, we were hit with bills and fines totaling over $1,000 from the IRS. When my husband was 18, he was given a bond from the airline he worked for. They were having financial trouble at the time and in lieu of a bonus, they got a bond.
It was a $250 bond.
That little bond cost us untold hours of phone calls, letters, stress, and eventually about $800. We could ill afford it at the time.
All of that for a simple mistake. I can't remember now if he forgot to report it or didn't know he had to, but we were gobsmacked.
The IRS can make your life hell.
I've been powering through all my fears and doubts about being in business for myself so far, but let me tell you, it isn't easy.
Owning your own business is a huge investment in time and money that takes years to come to fruition. I'm not going to quit because I'm finally making some headway, but there are lots of days when I ask myself why I'm doing this.
Why not go find a little job that doesn't keep me up at night wondering if I've filed everything right and done everything I'm supposed to do? What if I can't make enough to pay all my bills? Did I answer that customer's email? Well...
Okay. Not sure that was a quick rant.
I'm happy I've got something to call my own and I love what I'm doing. But, it's tough and I've run into so many obstacles as I work my way through all this.
So...excuse me...I need to go spend the rest of the day filling out paperwork!
And, now you see my thought process of how a blog post gets written. I almost never end up with the post I sit down to write.
I hope you have a good one!
See you between the raindrops!
I ALMOST FORGOT! See...my mind wanders through a thousand little things. I'm running a Valentine's Day Sale now through midnight on January 26th! Enter LOVE25 at checkout for 25% off your order.
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