Saturday, April 13, 2013

Tax Day creeping up on all of us

I have a lazy streak within me. Never put off in my personal life until tomorrow what I can do next week!

Ordeal will end here on Monday
This weekend, I’m going to pay for it.

FOR TAX DAY is coming up on all of us Monday. That is when we have to have our income tax returns to the federal and state governments at least in the mail.

And if we’re being completely honest here, I haven’t even thought about it yet. Which means this is the weekend I’m going to have to make some time to sit down and figure out just how much I owe the governments of the national and state entities in which I reside.

I doubt I will be one of those people who will be desperately trying to figure out some tax dodge Monday night, then rushing to find a post office that will be open until Midnight so I can get that all-desired postmark that confirms I “filed” my returns on time.

But it means I probably will not be a pleasant person to be around this weekend. So I’m warning those of you who have any personal contact with me to “Leave Me Alone!!!!” It’s for your own good.

ACTUALLY, MY RETURNS won’t be complex. They’ll just be painful.

I don’t have any investments or real tax loopholes that complicate the situation. I just have income – which means calculating the amount of money owed and paying up.

For one of the drawbacks to being a self-employed freelance writer is that no one is withholding income on my behalf to pay the tax collector. I’m responsible for making those payments myself.

There won’t be a refund, because for me, April 15 is all about accounting my income and reconciling my debt. I owe, and I will have to pay up.

AND NO, I don’t gain any sympathy for those ideologues who want to rant and rage about the evils of taxation and how government is wasting “their” money. I support the concept that government works on our behalf, and that there is something of an obligation to help support it financially.

So perhaps I should view this time of year as another moment of civic duty – similar to how I make a point of casting ballots on Election Day. It gives me my right to complain about what is going wrong.

But I’m not that high-minded. What I’m really going to feel is the pain of having to make payments to reconcile my accounts and ensure that the Internal Revenue Service does not take any special interest in my existence.

I’m going to be broke for awhile. So that might be another reason to “Leave Me Alone!!!” I will probably have a less-pleasant than usual personality for some time.

I HAVE TO confess, I stumbled across a long-ago friend whom I went to college to who was able to boast last month that he had finished his tax returns. A part of me was envious.

Then again, I’m also realistic enough to admit that I don’t have the energy to compute my finances because I know I’m going to feel that moment of depression when I have to confront just how much money I owe!

In fact, there’s really only one fact that brings me any solace these days. It reminds me of a time in my third year of college when I was two weeks away from Final Exams with four papers that needed to be written – and I had only barely started on one of them. What kept me from cracking up then was the constant reminder I gave myself that regardless of what happened (I wound up finishing all of them by deadline), it would all be over in two weeks. I’d be on break.

Tax Day is Monday. No matter how frazzled (and financially busted) I will wind up, it will all be over in two more days.


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