HANK PHILIPPI RYAN: Doing my taxes. There has got to be a better way!
I wish I had taken a photo of my huge box of paperwork before I shipped it to the accountant. It was—well, poor Howard. He's about to get the box from hell.
It wasn't supposed to be like this. (And yes, I'm aware it's April Fools' Day. I guess that's what my English teacher meant by irony.)
All year, I filled one of those red expanding accordion files with little bits of paper, receipts, plane tickets, hotel bills, cab slips, scrawled and illegible carbon paper receipts from bookstore, Amazon bills, gas receipts, mileage listings, invoices from PR companies, ten million crinkled up cash register tapes from the post office, and receipts form bookmark places and website designers and ah….whose idea was it to do all this? Anyway, it was very very organized, I THOUGHT, and I was very proud of myself for being so forward-thinking, when April rolled around I would be all set to do my taxes.
Who was I kidding?
This weekend, I thought—okay, DOING IT. (I know, about time) and I got out my big bulging file and a bunch of manila envelopes and a legal pad and a calculator started to organize. I have a calendar, and it’s pristine, with absolutely everything I ever did on it. So what happened and when, is very clear.
Still. Like I said, I should have taken a photo of me in sweatpants and a t-shirt from the Boston Book Festival that just has a ? on the front, SURROUNDED by little bits of paper. It was—can I just say, horrible? I whined for three solid hours (which I’m sure was not much fun for darling Jonathan, who was trying to watch basketball). I’M NOT DOING THIS was a theme, as well as WHOSE IDEA WAS THIS with the recurring refrain of HIS IS SO STUPID.
I don’t mind paying taxes (too much)—I enjoy the highway system and the post office (obviously) (although know that is privatized), I appreciate our troops and the FDA and the CDC and the Justice department and all that. (All good, without saying it all works perfectly, but there’s no way I can control it all and that’s another blog.) I know I am lucky and I am happy, to help the less fortunate and keep the wheels of government on the road. Such as they are.
But the biggest thing I said was THERE’S GOT TO BE A BETTER WAY to do this. Better than saving little scraps of paper. Better than using a legal pad and a calculator.
So Femmes, is there? Thing is, I know I am not going to go to my computer every day and enter stuff. I know myself well enough not to pretend that a daily accounting thing is gonna work.
I never pay cash, and so there are credit card and check receipts for EVERYTHING.
Grr. But I’m finished now.
Is there any magic way to make this easier? How do you do it?