I live in Pennsylvania; Every year I live in fear that my father/accountant will no longer be around to help with my local taxes.
They come in the mail every year from Berkheimer "Tax Innovation", and I never seem to be able to get started on them; I get a W2 from work (editied for content of course):
and #1 at the top of my Berkheimer
Taxpayer Annual Local Earned Income Tax Return F-1 form, reads something about filling in "Gross Compensation as Reported on W-2(s) (Enclose W2(s)" (see edited document below):
When I go to look at the W2, there isn't a box on it anywhere; no matter which employer I am with at the time that reads "Gross Compensation", despite the use of simple reference numbers that I have to assume are standard parts of any "standard W2".
I have no trouble working through the rest of the process the rest of it is clear to me for my simple employment status in doing my taxes; but that first box is just elusive as hell.
I'm also told that different local municipalities use different services, so if I moved somewhere else, it's possible that my local municipality could conceivably send me a different form, which might even contain references to the other boxes in the W2s, but everywhere I've lived in PA up this point has always used Berkheimer and their form (as well as their web application is impossible to make heads or tails of!)
What do I need to learn about to understand this? I don't want to be taken away in a paddy wagon when my father is no longer able to explain this to me every year! If everyone is not an accountant, and yet everyone is expected to do their taxes, why can't they make this easy enough that any person could do it? Or do local municipalities just not care if you're sent to jail over local taxes? Honestly, it's not the paying of taxes that annoys me, it's how bad the forms are! I think taxes are necessary for the continuation of a civilized civilization.
P.S. The W2 gross compensation appears to be in box 18 for the aforementioned Berkheimer Gross Compensation field, but it contains two sets of numbers labeled with the Locality names
P.S.S. Most of the time it doesn't even matter if I finish the form, I usually don't owe anything.