I hate tax season. Sure, I dislike having to pay higher and higher taxes. I moan along with everyone else because I have to surrender much of my hard earned money to an ever increasing, less responsive government. But that is not why I hate tax season.
I hate tax season because I am a stacker.
Every year I throw receipts and important tax documents onto a pile. I know, I know, I should have taken a moment to think about them and sort them instead of allowing them to pile up. I read the efficiency books that tell me to never handle paper twice and to deal with it right away, but honestly, I just don't. Maybe counseling or shock treatment can cure me, but for now I have to face my huge mound.
So I groan and complain and then face the pile.
I guess as long as I know what is important to keep I am OK. I convince myself that I have learned from previous tax filings and have listened to the "experts" and I have generally saved what is important.
So I pour myself some coffee, move my stack to my table and begin to sort. I make piles or write on large envelopes depending on how many receipts and documents will go into the piles. The "experts" tell me I should have the following categories:
File For Free
The IRS is continuing its Free File program. Those earning $58,000 or less can file using free software. Others can fill out forms located at the IRS website. Even if you make more than the $58,000 some of the software companies are willing to let you use their basic software for free so it is worth checking out the website.
The IRS website boasts:
It's fast. It's safe. It's free. And EVERYONE is eligible!
Once I am done I total the piles and hand the whole mess over to a professional (you may sit down with your software) and begin to calculate the taxes. But, honestly once the huge pile is sorted, it is all downhill from there.
So why did I wait causing myself a miserable evening? I am not sure, but this is where I convince myself that this long miserable evening was completely silly and could have been avoided! I now promise myself to write out the tax receipt folders ahead of time, complete with suggestions and reminders of what receipts should be placed into the envelopes and assure myself I will make up those envelopes soon. Yeah, that is it, very, very soon.
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