I have official survived another tax season! For those of you unaware, I am an accountant by trade. I have spent the last 25years running the annual gauntlet that is TAX SEASON. Unfortunately for us accountants, it’s not like getting ready for a marathon where you can run a few more feet each day for months in advance until finally you reach your peak performance. Nope, we accountants go from leisurely sipping a glass of champagne on New Year’s Eve to full out pencil pushing mania for the next three and a half months straight.
Back when my kids were little, I used to run like nuts all day long taking them to school and/or preschool. I’d run home and try to pack in some work, clean the house, go to the grocery store and then pick them up from school in the afternoon. The afternoon had me headed out to baseball, basketball, dance class, and gymnastics. When we got home in the evenings it was homework, supper, baths and bedtime. Once the kids were all snuggled down in their beds, that’s when the real work began. I would work until the wee hours of the morning, sometimes only getting up from the desk because I could see the sun starting to come up and I knew I had to get some measure of sleep before the day began again.
Back in the beginning of my career, there were no computer software packages for taxes. I would go to the library and get as many forms as the old woman behind the counter guarding them would let me. Then I would get my friends to slide into the library and get as many as they could get. I would do all of my forms in pencil so that if I made an addition error I could easily correct it. I would spend all day scribbling and calculating my returns. Then I would meticulously write each answer down in the appropriate little box with my bright yellow number 2 pencil. The completed forms would be clipped together and put in a yellow laundry basket. After the kids were tucked safely into bed I would head out to the local Kinko’s that stayed open 24 hours. I would get my card that kept track of the number of copies I made and slide it into the slot on what I hoped would be a good copy machine. On a good night, I would be there for a couple of hours, but if I got a bad machine and I’d be driving home once again watching the sun peak up over the horizon.
These days I am spoiled rotten. My kids are grown and gone so I have turned in my chauffer and tutor hat. My mother-in-law was more than happy to take over the meals for the season. I now have a computer program that does all the calculations (as long as you know what number goes in what box and why) and spits out as many copies of the return as I desire. My husband, David, dotes over me like a mother hen, making sure I have everything I could possible need, including going to the store for orange sherbet just because I said I had a taste for it. This year I started work much earlier in the morning and set an alarm on my phone so that I would not stay at the desk past midnight. Matthew has been working for me for several years and is working with me during tax season to help get everything done.
Times may have changed, technology may have advanced but the craziness that is tax season still remains the same. I am just thrilled to be able to say, “ I have officially survived another tax season.”