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In a TurboTax Minute

     The first day of the New Year poked me with a shocking idea. Unfortunately for me, I accepted the challenge: to start my taxes. Well, why not? I've always loved TurboTax—well, as much as anyone could love a tax software. It would only take a TurboTax minute to download the new 2018 tax files. I'd leave the rest for later, but this would be a good start.

     First I needed the TurboTax receipt with the download information. Wouldn't you know? Couldn't find it. Anywhere. So much for the TurboTax minute. An hour later I gave up and went to Google, who led me straight to the Intuit/TurboTax website, where... I couldn't get into my account. Password error.

     I have this handy-dandy folder with all my usernames and passwords. The new password I'd updated in October was right there. I entered it. TurboTax kicked it back. Three times. I thought possibly I'd mistyped it. I do that sometimes. But retyping it carefully three times didn't help so I went back to the folder to make sure I had the right password.

     It was the right one—but I'd missed something. Well, who'd ever think to put an exclamation mark at the end of a password? Turbo, that's who. Turbo passwords must have letters, numbers AND A CHARACTER. With the exclamation mark, the password worked.

     After the "Install" and "Open" and "Update," I decided to transfer last year's tax return information to the new file since I was right there and it would only take a TurboTax minute and then I could go get my coffee.

     Turbo couldn't find last year's tax return. After two more false starts, I shut everything down and rebooted. That works with cable TV—sometimes—but it didn't do a thing. This first day of the New Year was beginning to feel like the last day of a horrible month. And the TurboTax minute was turning into a nightmare. And I had to find that file.

     Cortina to the rescue! Cortina can find anything. You just have to ask nicely, so I gently asked her to find my 2017 tax file. She found it quickly in those weird OS files that mysteriously appeared uninvited on my computer a long time ago and which I never, ever save anything to. Now all I had to do was get the file out of OS and put it where it belonged.

     Where was that? In my Tax Folder, of course. I went to the OS files, found the old return, opened it, saved it to the Tax Folder, and transferred the info to the new 2018 tax file—successfully. Whew!

     At this rate, I'll still be working on my taxes next December. The start of a new year should be bright and sunny and happy. What can have gone wrong so soon? Everyone's going around saying, "Happy New Year" and Instant Messaging and FaceBooking "Happy New Year" videos. Me—I'm faking it and saying "Happy New Year!" right back, as if I'm off to a good clean start.

     At least I—um, Cortina—found the file and got it to the right place. My mom used to do her whole tax return on New Year's Eve but she didn't have TurboTax and technical nonsense to contend with—just paper tax forms and a pencil with a good eraser.

     I'm hoping this was my low for the year and all will be better from here on. Maybe... but I'll put on a brave face, just in case—and hope for no more of those TurboTax minutes.

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