Ah, tax season is upon us. Just as surely as the new year cometh, so does the IRS. Do you have your papers in order, your numbers in a row, and your WXZs ready for filing? As I begin the yearly tumble of jumbling through my receipts and notes I vow yet again, “Next year I will develop, organize and follow a system so that when January 1 comes, I will just click and voila! My tax information is in order!”
Then, of course, I realized, January 1 has long come and gone, as has February 1 so my promise and solemn oath are already out-of-date. But I guess February 6th is a good day to redeclare my pledge and so I will. I start by asking, “Why organization?” And I answer… Well, it makes papers easy to find, it keeps memories in line so that this little note of scribblings written in March holds meaning by late November, and it means that when my appointment with my accountant dawns, I am ready.
And so, my thought of the day is that your accountant is quite a bit like a housekeeper. Although I have never had the pleasure of the services of the latter, I have heard from friends and family the awesome delight of coming home Friday night after a long week of work to a house that glimmers. These same individuals also relate that that same Friday morning has been a flurry of activity “to get in the house straightened up before the housekeeper arrives.” The vacuum cleaner hums, the dishwasher gurgles, tub, shower, and sinks possess fewer layers of scum. Beds suddenly have spreads as trash meets the out-of-doors can. Housekeeping for the housekeeper is exhausting work. Maybe that is why I have just done it myself.
In the shadows of the housekeeper tale, or is it the aura of structured potential, I begin my sort: utilities here, office expenses there, and bank statements in a row; W-4s in line along with a few 1099s scattered about. Three hours leads to four, just as four sheds light on several more and finally, as the sun sets, my tax papers appear ready to accountant perusal. It isn’t hard and in the big picture of life, little energy and time have been consumed, but still that recollection lingers of when the tax code lived a simple life and remained the same year after year. Ah, what a reminiscent moment of bygone days!
And so how are your taxes rolling along? And what about the house cleaning for the housekeeper, the hair shampooing before the trip to your stylist who always shampoos, too, and the stack of clothes that you have washed, ironed, folded and assembled in neat boxes and bags for give away to others that you now decide are more worthy of disposal? We are funny folks, aren’t we? Habits remain strong and intact even though their repetitive nature is outmoded. While you may wonder about a solution for the mountains of paperwork that rest wildly strewn about your office or den, your accountant will smile when this year your files are set and ready long before the April 15 deadline.