So yesterday was tax day and I had to call around at 10 at night the night before to get advice on how to file an extension. This year, my husband wants us to try doing taxes ourselves instead of paying up the wazoo for the pricey fees of our overpriced accountant — well, my overpriced accountant. I brought him into the marriage and have been working with him for years. I never minded the high price because he always got me a mammoth return, but best of all, I DIDN’T HAVE TO THINK ABOUT TAXES.
But the truth is, accountant or no, I seem to think about taxes ALL YEAR, because it takes me that long to get my act together. (My friend nk laughs whenever I tell her I’m at home doing my taxes. Like what am I doing? Why does it take me so long?) It’s partially because I do them in front of the TV and get caught up in “Samantha Who” or whatever, and it’s also b/c I write down every single item under the sun that I ever spend money on in hopes that it might be tax-deductible. But isn’t that goofy? I mean is sunblock from CVS bought in April 2007 tax deductible? Probably not, but am not taking any chances. I have this elaborate system where I save all my receipts, order them by dates, stuff them in envelopes by subject, then write down each cost in each category on a notepad in pencil, then take out the calculator to tally the damage.
My system must be wrong. This is how I know. When I do my taxes at Starbucks, people come up to me horrified and say “you should hire an accountant.” And when I say “I do have an accountant!” they just back away slowly. But I never wanted to do my taxes myself! It’s like a part of my the world I just don’t want to devote any mental real estate to, like it’s up there with like learning how to golf.
But if Husband wants to try something, I’m there. As Tax Day crept towards us and it became clear we would be late — again, we readjusted our goal for the 15th to file an extension…then the night before, he ran out of time and had to go to work. It was up to me.
Under much pressure, after much hemming and hawing, after calling my friend Alex L. for moral support, I finally settled down and looked up instructions and did it in two seconds. Phew. It sounds stupid, but it’s like years of phobia overcome. I feel like a stud. I’m walking with a swagger down the office halls, saying “oh yeah, we bad, we bad” like richard pryor in “stir crazy.”