Angry Tax Time

Filed in Tax, Savings by on March 29, 2011

It is 5 AM during my angry tax time.

I woke at 8 AM, was in the office by 9 AM and left at 2 AM, for an angry tax time. I should be in by 9AM again. In between, I told a client to make maximum IRA and 401k contributions, because he owed a lot of tax. He had been told that I did not estimate before I was done. He also has very bad records, which had not yet let me estimate anything accurately. However, since he demanded news prematurely, I got him ready for the worst news. I would not have done that if this was not an angry tax time, since I should soon help create good news for him.

One client told me she and an employee wanted us to amend his filed W2, for $500 extra withholding tax. That meant amending a quarterly federal and Florida return and three annual returns. It also involved illegally changing the books and making an IRS exam likely.Ā I explained this and refused to amend. I also asked her to do me a favor: shooot me instead.

New computers had Windows 7 protect me, stopping work, for an angry tax time. The QuickBooks ProAdvisor site would not let me log on FOR THE SECOND DAY. We also could not open some QuickBooks files, which is only urgent during this angry tax time. Some computers wanted QuickBooks upgrades, which is the last thing we need during this time. We get incomplete data from almost everyone, as expected, despite annual reminders. Many will wait until after April 5, for a really angry tax time. They forget each, year, about the angry tax times of January 31 (1099s and payroll), February 28 (paper 1099s to IRS), March 15 (corporate income tax), April 1 (Florida personal property tax) and April 2 (e-file 1099 to IRS). They also forget, each year, that I stop taking appointments after April 5 šŸ™‚

IRS has its own angry tax time, partly because almost none of its overpaid people work anything like 17 hour days. That means records we need from them, not from their automatic systems, waste lots of time. I began e-filing many years ago, but today was especially bad because it will take about a month to let me use an approved 1099 e-filing program. 30-day extensions are automatic for this. I guess IRS is afraid that even CPAs might go postal during this angry tax time.

Some staff did not come in as expected. I forgot to tell others to enjoy their weekend when they left Sunday night. I keep saying they need a doctor’s letter, and two weeks advance notice, for each missed hour, but they do not listen. I am now taking my 7PM pills at 5AM. My fever, very bad cough and severely inflamed throat and nose reminded me to take them, as there is no time to see a doctor.

Working far too many hours (7 days a week), staff problems, computer problems, missing documents and complex tax laws make completion date and refund amount estimates impossible. They are especially impossible when you must estimate how long many first-in, first-out jobs will take, to say when one will be ready.Ā The worst of angry tax times involve those who keep calling for such estimates. I barely politely refuse to estimate or to respond to all calls. I say that the last thing clients should want is to have us not do all we can to cut tax. Often this involves many revisions, as we use different approaches over time. Some of my best thoughts come while away from the office. One client will never know that I saved him $4,000 while writing this.Ā 

During these angry tax times, the last thing a client should do is to keep calling. My ultimate response is to say that my mother also nagged. It never worked well. It is now a good way to get me to do something else.

These angry tax times remind me of why my wife once said she would never marry an accountant, like her uncle. He spent most of the tax season in his home cellar, often faling asleep duringĀ conversations. He then woke up and resumed talking, before falling asleep again, which I now do.

In view of this, I was very lucky to get her to marry me fourty-six years ago. I was especially lucky because of something I only now realized. The first four months, of the six months between our first date and our marriage, should have been an angry tax time. Thanks to her, it was the most exciting time of my life.

I will not keep leaving before she gets up and returning after she goes to sleep. I will, instead, steal some hours from my clients and my normally exciting tax work. We may not fully match our early excitement, but we can still come close.

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