Feb 5, 2011

"Taxes." 'Nuff Said

(A few nights ago, while being held in the clutches of preparing our taxes, I attempted to bring a little comic relief to the situation. Now that I'm no longer sleep-deprived and grouchy, it's not nearly as funny as I found it to be when I wrote it. Perhaps, though, some other sleep-deprived and grouchy tax preparer needs to see it!)

It's tax time again. As an American citizen, I know that I need to pay taxes. I benefit from them, others benefit from them, and I don't mind paying them.

It's the paperwork that I hate!

Hate is a little strong. Let's say that I've been paying taxes for mumblemumble years and I've YET to have it go smoothly and easily. Well, maybe back in college when I was making nothing, but that was also mumblemumble years ago.

It usually takes me about three solid days of intense paper shuffling and organizing to get them all done to my satisfaction. Along with personal taxes, we own a contracting business and my husband is a part-time minister. At least we're not doing payroll like we've done in the past! The following is an excerpt from Day One of my shuffling and organizing:

(Psyching myself up) It's time. Just sit down and do it. Gather up the energy food (you know, sweet tea and sunflower seeds), and set the child to doing his homeschooling.

Shoot. The tea spilled. (Clean up on aisle 4!)

Son: Mama? Did you know that . . . (long-winded dissertation about the Alpha star in the constellation Cassiopeia) . . .

I glaze over, listening. OK, back to work.

First I'll type in December's customer invoices. Let's see, where did I leave off. APRIL??? What happened to the rest of the months' entries??? Nooooooooo! Yes, dear, all of the entries since April have disappeared.

Mama? That bird just ran into the window, but he's okay.

Mama? I'm hungry.

(We finished breakfast an hour ago, mind you. Where DOES he put all that food? He's not even a teenager yet! He'll have to get a job just to feed himself. If he does that, he'll have to pay taxes. Oh yes--the taxes.)

HOURS LATER: There! All the customers are back in the program. Now I can start the Schedule C information.

{ring} (dh calling): I'm on my way home. (Uh oh. I suppose these people are going to want to eat. Again.) Would you like me to bring something home for supper? (That husband of mine is a gem, I tell you. An absolute gem. Or, he just knows that there's no way supper would be ready with all this tax stuff!)

MIDNIGHT: Then I check the "alerts" in the program and . . . I'm . . . done!!!

(To husband): Honey? We have a bouncing, baby refund! Congratulations!


FarmMom said...

Okay... I thought it was funny! Maybe because, though taxes are not quite so taxing at our house, the scenario is the same! Congrats on your REFUND!!! Huzzah!

Packrat said...

This was hilarious. Thanks. (Sounded like yesterday, and all I was trying to do was prepare the treasurer's report for a meeting at church today. URGH.)

Even though we have an accountant do the actual figuring, all the prep is a nightmare.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Roxanne I feel your pain. I do THE EXACT SAME THING -- what do you mean left off in April?!! Seems like I just spend HOURS doing the books a couple of weeks ago :)

Roxanne said...

FarmMom, Packrat, and Trixie--I thought there would be some who understand!

It's so good to have that behind me.

Trixie--I had all my customer entries done through November. The computer/Quicken/the devil made them all disappear all the way back TO April.

I was not happy.

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