Today April 13 Is Sinhalese ‘Old Year’ (& My Maternal Grandmother’s Birthday). Tomorrow, April 14 Is ‘New Year’.
..by Anura Guruge
Well, it is finally here. ‘Old Year’. Sri Lankans try and get in a bath today, whether they need it or not. I am good. I took a shower.
To be honest, since I have not been in Ceylon to celebrate this since 1967 (when I was 13), I can’t remember or work out all the arcane timings and rituals that go with it. It is all determined by astrologers per auspicious hours. There is even a time at which kids are supposed to do some studying to make sure that studies will feature in their coming year. I remember that part. One year, and I was probably around 10, I was asked the square root of ‘100’.
Here is the Press Release from Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation. Checkout the blatant propaganda. The joys of state run broadcasting. I had forgotten what it was like.
..by Anura Guruge
If you use Quicken (which I refuse to do, because I really don’t see why it needs to know my inside leg measurements, what statin I take for my cholesterol and the make of car I drive), I gather that Fidelity (for one) will provide downloadable 8949 data that will get automatically filled in. Well, even that will not convince me to use Quicken (though I did use it, a decade ago, when I was honing my tax preparation skills). That Fidelity does not provide us with this data in Excel (comma separated data) form is inexcusable and I did complain about it this year. I assume that there must be other financial institutes that are gracious enough to provide this data in Excel form to their clients.
So what I do is create my own Excel using the PDF (or HTML) of the tax statements available online with Fidelity.
I will copy all the columns and then do a PASTE SPECIAL (Text) into a Word document. I will then use the global replace function of Word to add tabs. Then I do a Text –> Table conversion. Then I delete the columns I don’t want. I then copy the entries of this table to a new Excel spreadsheet — again doing a PASTE SPECIAL (Text).
Then, just because I enjoy messing around with Excel, I subtotals of all the transactions to make sure Fidelity got them correct! Having the subtotal also serves as a ‘check sum’ to make sure I that I haven’t lost any transactions.
Then I fire up Free Fillable Forms (FFF) and create a new Form 8949. I can then copy across a complete row, from Excel to FFF and then paste it.
So, if you notice I haven’t typed in any of the transactional data per se. All of it is essentially copy, paste …. copy, paste.
I can do this fairly quickly. That I have two monitors which enables me to keep the Excel on the left-hand side monitor and FFF on my (main) right-hand side monitor definitely helps.
Hope this helps. Enjoy.