"The wages of sin is death, but after taxes, it's just sort of a tired feeling." - Paula Poundstone
Today is Tax Day in the United States. Millions of Americans filled out their tax forms (or extensions of time to file) and headed for the post office to make sure their envelope was postmarked and avoid getting in trouble with Uncle Sam's treasury department, aka the Internal Revenue Service.
For me, it meant handing off the last of the returns I prepared for clients, and a couple of trips to the post office to mail extensions for my procrastinators. Now, I'm at my computer, dying to dig into the book that's been lurking about on the edge of my conscience all these weeks - and I'm frozen. My mind is still buried deep in depreciation schedules and partnership K-1s.
Then I remembered that the 18th is my day to blog at 2BRead! I'm a bit early out of the gate, but I thought this was a perfect way to get back in the groove of writing something other than numbers. Y'all forgive me if I lapse into a diatribe about effective tax rates or IRA rollovers....
Actually, I thought it might be amusing to relate a few of my observations from my many hours of toil and trouble during this Tax Season. Calm down - I culled the icky stories and went for funny. I hope.
First off, we have the Very Frugal Client. Okay, she's tighter than the bark on a tree. Also unashamed. Her list of charitable contributions came to $2.00. That's a two, with a decimal after it. Two dollars. Dos bucks. Two donuts. Not kidding. She sends a check for 50 cents to a children's hospital, Hospice, and a couple of other charities, in memory of someone who's passed on. The charity mails the grieving family a note that a contribution has been made for their loved one by *fill in the blank* and they send her a thank you note for her generosity. I'm not making this up. After my initial shock, I died laughing. That, my friends, is someone who can squeeze a penny until it begs for mercy.
One client received dividends from France and the paperwork was all in French. He wrote across the top, "You can convert this to dollars, wee?" Dude definitely needs to stick to English.
Then there's the client who wanted to know if he can write off racing pigeons. Evidently, pigeon racing is about to be hot. Who knew?
In the alternate reality we CPAs call Hell in a Shoebox, I had one client who included in the huge wad o' paper inside the box - are you ready for this? - receipts for porn flick rentals. I wasn't sure if he intended for me to write them off, but no way was I gonna call and ask. Can you imagine that conversation? "Good afternoon, Mr. Hell in a Shoebox Client. I've gone through your receipts and wondered about a few of them. Was there a legitimate business reason for renting Big Breasts in Baltimore?" I'll also add that delivering this man's tax return and handing back his Shoebox from Hell was very awkward.
I know we CPAs suffer from the stereotype of boring nerds with pocket protectors, anal retentive types who get turned on when anybody brings up things like amortization, or alternative minimum tax, but I'm here to bust the myth wide open. We're actually a lot of fun, the life of the party, interesting, mysterious and charming. And that's just when we're at the IRS. You should see us at CPA conferences. Whoo damn, we can party like it's 1999. And on the last day of tax season, Katy bar the door, because we are hot, hot, hot!
Take me, for instance. I'm sitting here in my jammies, drinking a Diet Coke, bleary eyed and filled with anxiety about all the returns I had to extend, the book deadline, the book in my head, and whether or not I missed a hair appointment. Yeah, baby - I'm so hot, I need antifreeze.
But don't let the scenario fool you. Inside, there's a party girl waiting to get out, catch a pigeon race, and head for the all night video store. Wonder if Big Breasts in Baltimore is in?