That was an unexpected bonus

Vicki and I are refinancing our house. Mostly this is to get a shorter time period, but also to reduce the interest a bit. We kind of dithered about this and missed the best rates, but the one we got isn’t too bad. That’s not what I’m writing about here though.

Because the 2009 tax year was a little light (because I spent some time unemployed and some time working for peanuts), I dug out both our 2008 and 2009 tax files. And while I was flipping through them, something caught my eye: an amount on the 2008 tax form that said something like “Capital loss carried forward to 2009”. Oh oh, I don’t remember carrying forward any amount. Sure enough, I couldn’t find any mention of it on the 2009 tax form. I also couldn’t remember where this capital loss had come from.

I looked back, and discovered it had to do with the sale of Vicki’s mom’s house back in 2006. I’d been using TurboTax in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and it had carried it forward without my even noticing it. (When you have a large capital loss, you can only claim $3,000 each year and carry the rest forward.) But for 2009, I’d switched to H and R Block on-line for reasons I don’t remember. And because I’d forgotten about the carry forward, I hadn’t applied it.

So today I downloaded the 1040X and IT-201X amended tax forms, and filled them all in manually because H and R Block on-line doesn’t give you any way to go back to last year’s return and amend it. (Something which you can do with TurboTax, I happen to know, because I amended the 2006 return using it.) I filled out all the forms and it turns out we’re due a nice little chunk of change. So that’s a nice little surprise consequence of our refinancing efforts.

One side note: both the IRS and New York State provide handy downloadable PDFs that you can edit and print. But for some bizarre reason that I can’t fathom, the IRS one can be saved but the New York one can’t. Can somebody explain what was the logic behind not allowing you to save?