Tax time is lurking

Thursday, January 15, 2009

It's that bittersweet time of the year. Christmas is over. New Year's resolutions have been made and many of them have been broken and forgotten already. Life is settling back into the regular routine. But, if you're like me, there's one thing that's slowly nagging at the back of your mind. Tax time is lurking.

Tax time is definitely bittersweet. I usually get a refund of some kind, so that part is sweet. The bitter part is all the headache you have to go through to ensure you get some kind of refund -- or at least don't have to sell your first born to pay the IRS. There are receipts after receipts to be found and tabulated. How much did I spend on medicine this year? Did I keep that receipt from my root canal? Are crowns tax deductible? Oh, don't forget the interest from the mortgage.

A wise person would neatly file things away in an organized matter each year. That way tax time wouldn't require hours of pouring over the check register to figure out how much you spent on unreimbursed expenses. Yuck!

I suppose I'm either not wise or just lazy, but I always find myself in this situation every year. Well, almost. This year is worse than most. Back when I was going crazy in January of 2008, but husband said he would take over the filing for me. I have a file cabinet with folders ready. It's just a matter of staying on top of things. Well… you can guess where this story is going. I have a ten foot pile of papers on top of the filing cabinet but not in the filing cabinet. I'm pretty sure not a single thing was ever filed in 2008.

Now, for those of you who don't know, I am pretty obsessive compulsive about things. I like them to be in order and neat, even if I don't always manage to do so. I guess I'm a lazy obsessive compulsive person!

Nevertheless, I've determined that I'm going to do better this year. I know I say that every year, but I really am going to! But, instead of stressing myself out like I do each new years about reorganizing the last year, I'm doing something totally against my character. I've decided to put all my 2008 stuff in a big box, dig out what I need for taxes, label it, put it in the attic and pray I don't get audited.