In the newspaper this Sunday was advice on getting your tax information ready early. By “early” they meant before April 15th. According to my inner calendar, though, the date is October 15.
Before he died five years ago, my husband Gene always suffered though the compilation of the tax paperwork himself. Once all the numbers were crunched together in an orderly fashion, he would forward them to the tax accountant for their final launch to the IRS.
Since 2005, I’ve been sweating out this preliminary fact-gathering on my own. I’ve never been able to accept the deficiencies of Quickbooks and Quicken in not being able to deal with the tax accountant on their own. Why do they need me? I have quite enough to do. Can’t they do anything right? Obviously, the nuns hadn’t taught them how to do their numbers.
My clever way of dealing with the problem has been to call the tax accountant every year and advise him that I will be “needing an extension”. I have always harbored the suspicion that the accountant is happy about it. It must help even out his workload if some of his customers have to have their work done after the rush in April. Nonetheless, he probably thinks that those are the clients who are lazy, good-for-nothing, and shiftless. Whenever I see him face-to-face, he doesn’t sneer exactly, but I can tell he remembers which of his delinquent file folders Gwendolyn Patricia Ford is found in.
This year will be different, yessir. I have raked over a new leaf. And will he be surprised.
The reason for my new modus operandi is that for the past five years I have submitted the tax stuff to the accountant by September 15 so he could get it to the IRS by the extended deadline of October 15.
Each year I stuffed the reports into the envelope for him, though, a sour thought crept into my head. Delaying the agony had saved me nothing. Not one minute and not one dime. In fact, it had COST me. The paperwork was harder to wade through because it had been joined by 6 more months of grunge that would be used for the next tax year. The worst punishment, though, was spending the months of April through September KNOWING THAT I STILL HADN’T DONE THE TAXES. I still had to face the same off-key music I would have faced in March.
This year by March 15th, I will be delivering a completed packet of tax records to the accountant’s office just like a timely, well-organized taxpayer might do. I’m going to get started working on it right after we get Ford Video’s W2s sent out, and the quarterly reports submitted, and the back yard cleaned up, and two of the closets upstairs de-cluttered, and the 10 new Knockout Roses planted when they get delivered in March, and after I get caught up on American Idol. It should be no problem.
My sister Joan sent me this little video to help ease me over the number crunching.