A mysterious note causes a tax season panic
Wow. Taxes, TS Eliot, Ezra Pound AND Better than Ezra (which was a fantastically deep connection - damn) in the same few paragraphs! Love it. And for an artwork that captures perfectly the deadly tedium that is taxes and the IRS ... check out David Foster Wallace’s THE PALE KING. Painful in many ways, but worth it.
1. The real reason I want to get famous is so that when I die and people go through all my stuff, they'll discover all the insane crap I wrote to myself over the years. Though I do wonder if they'd find me as charming and hilarious as I find myself in those musings. Probably not. Self-notes inevitably become inside jokes. With a very select audience. Of one. 😂
2. I used to work for myself as a personal chef and those tax years were brutal. Mainly because I'm too effing honest about everything. And I make (complex) systems. But the last two years I made approximately $0 as a writer, so my taxes have pretty much returned themselves! Easy peasy queasy.
3. April in New Hampshire is a crap shoot. Two days ago, it was sunny and 85 degrees outside. This week it will be dreary and in the 50s. April is unreliable.
4. Not answering the question so much here and showing my appreciation for your rewrite of The Waste Land's opening lines. And you didn't even need ChatFaceBot to help you write it. Human brains unite!
"There are lots of ways to estimate your quarterly revenue as a freelance writer, but some of my favorites include: wishful thinking..." Ha ha ha ! That would be me!
To answer your questions:
1. All the time. It usually means I needed to find a therapist for a patient or look up a book or supplement that a patient was telling me about. It also means that my notebook was not around at the time, although I have notes in there that I also do not understand.
2. We outsource our agony to a professional. I'm an employee while my spouse is self-employed. We need all the write-offs we can get. Unfortunately, last year, most of our write-offs were medical expenses because the US Healthcare system is a massive scam, and insurance companies are shady AF.
3. April is my birthday month, which I use as an excuse to buy myself presents all month. So, yes, I love April.
4. Taxman by The Beatles and Money by Pink Floyd.
May be stretching a bit, but one could argue Exile in Main St album was inspired by taxes (and other things).
1. No. Are you Guy Pearce in Memento?
2. Neither. I approach it as a text-based game.
3. Except for pollen, I like April. I do my taxes in February and March (waiting stresses me out).
4. Taxman, Lennon/McCartney.
Past Me used to have a habit of writing then-Future Me notes that now-also-Past Me found to be cryptic and entirely unhelpful, other than inducing the kind of anxiety you so well described today. Then-Future-but-now-also-Past Me had an epiphany and made a solemn vow to all Future Mes ... “Dude, I gotta write clearer notes. Embrace elaboration ... anything less will leave Future Present You twisting in the wind.” Sometimes, Past Me even remembered the solemn vow. Sometimes.
I also embraced tax professionals (figuratively, as literally might be awkward for all parties involved) once I moved past the single-EZ phase of life. Having run afoul of the IRS in my college years after starting (and failing) a small business with a buddy, I developed a healthy terror of screwing up my taxes and decided anything more complicated than “you made X, so you pay Y” was better left in the hands of a professional. Marriage, kids, homeownership, and another small business make (doing) taxes (competently and comfortably) way out of my skill set. Expensive? A little. As the old credit card commercial went ... Peace of mind: Priceless.
As my dad used to say, we have four seasons around these parts: Winter, Mud Season, Black Fly Season, and August. April is the month that tries to throw all four options at once ... catch! Baseball begins for real in April and I’ve been coaching various levels for not quite 20 years ... everything from t-ball to high school. In the last few Aprils we’ve had rainouts, snow outs, 85° and sunburns (everybody forgot sunscreen??!), 39° in drizzle (three more layers ... if I only had on three more layers I’d be not-freezing ... I don’t even need to be warm ... just ... not ... [flashes a series of signs indicating a steal] freaking freezing) ... gorgeous 65° days with a cancellation because “they still have snow in left field” ... and everything in between. [Swats at black flies buzzing around my head.]. But, it’s great ... not late-September/early-October the-leaves-are-turning-the-air-is-crisp-baseball-playoffs-football-started-the-kids-are-excited-about-the-new-school-year great ... but, great all the same.
Taxman - The Beatles.
reading entrails and vision quests to determine quarterly tax payments has been around for centurys
and hypnosis im guessing CAN be written off
as a business expense but really just another perk if it can convince an April fan base like say the Arizona Diamondbacks
they have a legitimate shot at a wild card
and i dont give a damn if there are
12 in each conference
I studied 'The Waste Land' for my English A level when I was seventeen. Had it even TOUCHED on taxes and personal finance I would have considered myself way better financially educated than I actually ever became - I didn't learn to budget until I was 46 years old, and Eliot could have saved me DECADES of trauma had he ACTUALLY written about taxes!!! 🤣
For a while, we had a tax person do our taxes. Audited only once, and it was the IRS’ mistake. Then I figured I get the same headache whether I answer a tax person’s questions or do it myself, and so started an annual TurboTax addiction. Fortunately California has caught TT’s mistakes and returned more money to me. I do pay a bookkeeper a monthly fee just so I don’t have to deal with Quickbooks or balance business accounts myself. This year taxes were easier by ditching TT for FreeTaxUSA or whatever the IRS recommended. Maybe I should ask our governor to have California do our state returns, since they already know, too?
Friday Jen once left a note for Monday Jen to “call Judy,” only Monday Jen didn’t know who Judy was or why to call her. 🤦♀️
I believe tax returns are not due this year until October. They extended it this year. (I did mine 6 weeks ago.)
The notes I don't understand were usually punchlines I'd written down and couldn't remember the setup. Outsourced tax stuff is still agonizing. And it has the additional agony of having to pay for it in addition to whatever the government wants. BTW, I looked online and the $600 is only for certain kinds of 1099 forms. Some types are issued for any amount. https://blog.tax1099.com/1099-reporting-requirements/ I'm waiting for some politician to run on a platform of a flat 10% tax. "Tithing -- If it's good enough for God, It's good enough for the government."
1. Forget the notes, I can’t read my handwriting. I have an essential tremor in my right hand. It truly sucks when I put on makeup. Glad I have a steady left hand. I should have been a doctor. I’d write unreadable prescriptions with the best of them.
2. We outsource but it’s still agony.
3. Passover and my sister’s and kids’ birthday. April is otherwise glorious.
4. I first wrote 44. This is what happens when I text with ET. There needs to be more Rom Coms with a sexy scene of a couple doing their taxes. Together they have a big deduction.
As long as nobody from the IRS is reading this, my method is to start looking for 1099s and my lonely W2 in February. I also buy TurboTax as soon as I find it on sale which Intuit has figured out, so they have small sales earlier and earlier each year. As soon as I can, I do the first pass with whatever paperwork I have on hand. This number usually shocks me and sends me into the pit of anxiety. Then in early April (which I define as the night of the 14th), I scramble around to enter the late paperwork and file. In the old days, I’d mail a check, safe in the knowledge that it would take weeks for it to get back to my bank. Nowadays, they just grab the money immediately out of my account which always hurts.
Obviously, my goal is to owe just enough that there isn’t a penalty so that I can keep MY money as long as possible. I never want a refund because that means I gave them too much during the year.
Don’t forget, the IRS is only doing what Congress and the President tells them to do in the least efficient manner possible. Vote the bastards out!