Wednesday, April 19, 2006

File it and forget it

I think one of the things that made me start to seriously consider Ben as possible marriage material was the fact that he had an accountant to do his taxes for him. I think of it every year at this time, when his very nice accountant is bugging him for various documents and receipts and I can pretty much stay out of the fray. Not like when I was single. I always waited until the last minute even when I was filing the 1040-EZ form (the kind for simpletons, where they show you how to print the numerals, just like in kindergarten). Then I had a relatively small amount of money in mutual funds and suddenly tax time became a dreaded thing. I was never sure I was filling out the forms right, wondering if I was inadvertently bilking either myself or the feds out of a ton of money. The breaking point came in the last year before I married Ben and his accountant. I waited until the waning daylight hours of April 15, which I took off so I could go to the library of a local business school to obtain the forms (which of course I hadn’t bothered to do before that). Then I took them home and tried to fill them out. Much wringing of hands. The main city post office stayed open until midnight that night, and at 10:00 I still hadn’t finished. I found myself sitting in my locked car in a deserted parking lot near the post office, filling out the last few bits and writing checks by the car’s dim interior light. One or two people glanced curiously inside. I think one of them even said, “Oh my God, I think she’s doing her taxes!” It’s not the strangest thing that’s happened to me inside my car, though. More on that in future posts…

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