1.) GATHER ALL IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS:
There’s no point getting all the way to “Just Taxes” only to find I’ve forgotten my W-2 or my W-4 or any of those other letters that say ‘Important Tax Information” or “Reply Requested” or whatever. Better just to bring the whole years unopened junk mail, bills, Dominoes coupons etc, with me. The problem is, some of that shit could be literally anywhere by now, so lets make sure I’ve looked in every closet, under every bed, behind the couch… You know, now I think about it, a really thorough house cleaning is probably the way to go. Two birds with one stone, right?
2.) CHART DEDUCTIONS
As a free lance writer, there are lots of expenses I can legitimately deduct, and I’ve pretty much kept track of them. But what’s the point of showing up at “Just Taxes” and sitting in some shitty plastic chair drinking instant coffee waiting for one of their seasonal CPA’s to ask me things I wouldn’t tell my own Mother if I haven’t figured out every possible deduction? Think it through. Tools of the trade we know are deductible, so that’s the new computer and what I would have paid for all my pens if I’d bought them instead of taking them from work. But what about the stuff I do on the computer? Can I deduct my Internet service? I do all my research on the Internet. And what about subscription erotica sites? I’m writing about them right now, so that’s research too, right? And what about all the time I spend at work looking at subscription erotica? Or the time I spent coming up with the phrase ‘subscription erotica’ so I wouldn’t have to face the facts about what I am doing with my time and how much it costs? Isn’t my time worth something?
3.) MAKE SURE ‘JUST TAXES’ IS AN ACTUAL BUSINESS
Sure it’s cheaper than H&R Block, a lot cheaper, but isn’t that kind of suspicious? Plus the place smells like Beefaroni and the computers all run off really long extension cords coming in through the back door. It can’t hurt to look the place up on line. And as long as I’m on line, I should see if ‘Ask Jeeves’ knows if I can deduct on line gambling losses if I write about them, which I just did. And yes I know ‘Ask Jeeves’ is now just called ‘Ask.com’, but it’s very hard to pretend my AI Butler is named Ask.com. Aslo I should check if Abi has any new artistic self-portraiture up. She thinks she’s too cool to update. I mean why the hell should I pay for a membership if she’s not going to update her artistic self-portraiture?
4.) SPEND SOME TIME WITH THE KIDS
Because family is everything. What kind of father am I if the weekend roles around and I’m all “Oh, Daddy can’t play with you girls now, I have to go do our taxes.” I remember how my Dad was always too busy for me because he ‘worked’ weekends at the ‘hospital’ where he was ‘Chief of Respiratory Therapy’ or some other thing. NOTE TO SELF: While spending quality time with girls, see if they know their Social Security Numbers. I’m pretty ‘Just Taxes’ will want those. See if they know Wife’s number too.
5.) FIX GARAGE DOOR
Been promising to do this for months, or if Wife’s word is to be taken seriously, ‘years’. How mad is she going to be if I put it off again with some lame excuse about doing taxes? Seriously, if I have to hear one more time about how I “Made a commitment”, how I always say “I said I’d do it and I’ll do it”, how my failure to fix the garage door or do anything, really, at all, is a symptom of a self destructive, ruinous, untreated depression that is ‘way less cute than it used to be’, I will just go completely nuts. I mean what the hell, if I was constantly nagging Supermom about a friggin’ broken garage door, she’d be depressed too! What, is their something gender related that means only I can fix a damn door, is that why it’s my responsibility, Do you need a measuring tape, a philips head screw driver and a JOHNSON to fix a DAMN GARAGE DOOR!?
6.) TURN CALENDAR TO APRIL
Oh, it is not April already! Fuck.
7.) GET SOME SLEEP
Taxes are friggin’ complicated enough without having to answer god damn personal questions about money when you’re so sleep deprived you’re ready to crack as it is. I don’t think a few nights in my own bed is too much to ask before pushing the Sysaphean stone of my finances up the damn mountain to “Just Taxes”. If the garage door is that big a damn deal, she can spend the night on the friggin’ couch for once and yes, yes I know it’s ‘not just the garage door’, but that isn’t the POINT, the POINT is the couch is lumpy as HELL! And if those kids wake me up before Nine, THEY can do the damn taxes! I mean, my God! “Daddy, we need breakfast, we need to go to school, we need lunches for school!” It’s endless! Can I NOT be allowed one damn DAY asleep without everyone up in my grill about how sleeping for an entire days is some sort of sign of MENTAL ILLNESS!?
8.) SMELL THE ROSES
I mean, come on, right? Is life just about money and keeping track of it? Can’t I have a nice meal, see a sunset, walk on the beach, sleep for entire days uninterrupted? Am I just some sort of drone lumbering around a hive for no other reason than to do the taxes and then get shoved outside by the Queen to die in the cold while repairing the hive-garage door? That’s insane! What do bees even need with a garage? Screw that noise! The government is going to get its pound of my raw, bleeding flesh and make interest off it, have no doubts about that, my friend! Every moment it’s in their bank account and not mine is robbery. All you smug bastards filing in March and February and friggin’ January are just a bunch of happy Brown Shirt drones smiling while you freeze to death working on the damn GARAGE DOOR!
9.) READ AT LEAST ONE BIG ASS BOOK
Look at all the books I’ve bought over the years, meaning to read, never getting to. “Ulysses”, “Gravity’s Rainbow”, “Cover Letters That Seem Like You Want the Job”, The total tonnage of paper I’ve paid for is a crime by itself, and then you add on the wife constantly carping about how I only buy them so people who come to the house will think I’m the kind of guy who’d read that shit, Jesus! I mean she’s made it so I have to read them just to prove she’s wrong, right? And I have to do my taxes, that’s the law, Uncle Sam will lock me away and take all my stuff while I rot if I don’t. So see, the beauty of it is, if I make an agreement with myself that I can’t file my taxes until I’ve read at least one big ass books, I’m golden.
10.) FIND OUT ABOUT EXTENSIONS
I mean, they have them right? They have to. Like, say, suppose I was on my way to file my taxes and some kind of mad animal or robot something was menacing some old lady and I stepped in because I don’t let that kind of shit go down, and I end up getting my arm ripped off? There’s no way they’d expect me to have my taxes in on time, right? I mean, my W-2’s are in the street, totally illegible with arm blood and I’m being rushed to the hospital! So if they have extensions for shit like that, there I such a thing as getting an extension. I mean is it my fault they’re due in April? Who the hell’s idea is that, that’s like, right the fuck after Christmas, I bet a lot of people don’t get them done on time. I mean, I know its commitment. I said I’ll do it and I’ll do it. Worst comes to worst I can just put it all on next year’s taxes. You can do that, right? I bet you can do that. I bet people do it all the time. It’ll be fine. That gives me plenty of time. And you know what time it is, now, right?