Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Still Here; No Pictures.

I say it every year:

I do not mind paying our taxes. Everybody needs to pay their fair share; I think we can all agree on that. And I am not the least bit interested in all the grossly misinformed anti-tax politics flapping around out there on Faux News these days. The simple fact is that the overwhelming majority of regular people in America simply do not pay excessive taxes, and we all need things like roads, schools, courts, law enforcement, public universities, scientific research, a military to defend us, health care, social security, and other things that help keep us civilized ... although perhaps not quite as civilized as Canada, France, or Amsterdam...which is another topic altogether. There may be hope for us yet.

But what I do mind is doing tax. It's like still having to do math homework after all these decades. Even though I am forty-eleven years old, working on tax makes me feel like Mrs. Hernandez is still leaning over my shoulder with her beehive hairdo and her little black reading glasses pushed down on her nose, admonishing me for "not showing my work," even when I get the right answer. Forty years after fifth grade, math homework still gives me a stomachache.

Because my husband and I are both self-employed, it's not like we can just staple our W-2s and the receipts for our doctors' appointments and our annual donations to National Public Radio, the local humane society and Doctors Without Borders to our 1040 and wave bye-bye to it. We have to hire somebody to do it for us, mainly so I don't try to do it all myself and end up stealing a barrel full of Valium from our neighborhood pharmacy and hiding out in a climate-controlled self-storage unit until October.

This "somebody to do it for us" is St. Peter of the Paperwork, who goes by the street name "Peter Barrios, APAC, CPA" and if you live in the Baton Rouge-y neighborhood and you need a super-nice man with a briefcase, a superhero cape and superhero hair to keep you from losing your mind and eating your solar calculator, I strongly recommend that you look him up in the Yellow Pages, or Google the Innerwebs, or just call him (225-924-3031) and get him to do what he's good at, so you can you do something that you're good at instead.

In order to spare Peter the annual ordeal of rummaging through our Volkswagen-sized Rubbermaid tub full of receipts, bank statements pennies, paperclips and a few slightly dusty breath mints, I put everything in supersized expanding files, with the addition of professional, businessy labels: "Stuff I Am Pretty Sure Is Deductible," "Crap From The Bank," "Stuff That Might Be Deductible," "Way Too Many Pharmacy and Doctor Bills," "Stuff That Looks Important," "Bills and Invoices From The Shop," "Sales Receipts From The Shop" and a really fat file labeled, "Lots of Itty Bitty Receipts: Do These Things Count As Business Expenses?"

I didn't go to business school. I can count, and add things up, and get people to buy stuff if I am lucky, but really? That's about it as far as my seat-of-the-pants MBA goes. My head is full of biology, humane laws, wildlife management skills, dog training, cat psychology, snake handling, writing, knitting, spinning, weaving and dyeing. There is also a little room left over for reading, ghost hunting, history and hiking. I am just not a businessy sort of person. I even look weird in a suit.

So today is my last day of highlighting items on our credit card bills and putting big red marks by them so Peter will see that they are deductions for things like business and medical travel ... my last day of stapling tiny, crumpled receipts for tape and notepads to a bigger piece of paper listing what they are for ... my last day of putting bank statements in piles and cussing at the stapler and the calculator ... and then I can bring the box with all seventeen pounds of this crap over to Peter's office, knock on his door, and run like hell.

Then I can come back to the shop and play with yarn. This month, I am rearranging the shop and checking in new spring and summer yarn, especially lots of Tahki bamboo and cotton and Tofutsies and other fun stuff. While I am doing this, Tahki Loop-d-Loop Quartz, Tahki Ceylon Silk, Brown Sheep Cotton Fine and Cotton Fleece, and all plant-based spinning fibers and plant blends are 20% off for the duration of April.


I hear tell that Koigu has roving. I am trying to get some.


At 5:54 AM, Blogger Soto Sister said...

Amen, sister! I am not self-employed, but I send my scraps of paper and happily pay someone to do them. And I owe over 3K this year, but will happily pay. Those who have more should give more, and I'm thankful that I made more money than I estimated.

At 9:49 AM, Anonymous elizabeth said...

Hiring someone to do our taxes was one of the best decisions we've ever made. We're actually getting a few dollars back this year!

PLEASE let me know if you get Koigu roving! I'd love to try some!

At 12:03 PM, Blogger Dez Crawford said...

Amen to all that! And of course my blog readers will be the first to know of the Koigu. Cross your fingers!


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