Every year I vow to set up a system so all I have to do is run a few reports on Quicken and my tax information will be ready for the preparer.
Unfortunately, I spent so much time thinking about taxes last year because of the dreaded audit, I couldn’t bring myself to embrace anything to do with accounting for a good six months, although I suppose that was the point of it all.
By declaring I wasn’t a writer and could not claim any expenses related to writing, the auditor incited in me what can only be called “revenge writing.” This is different than being a writer for the TV show Revenge. Then, perhaps, I’d be legit. But since this was not the case, “I’ll show them!” became my battle cry.
I started writing like my life depended on it. As it turns out, it does. Everything has changed since I’ve made writing a public priority. So maybe that was the point of it all. And maybe one day I’ll see the auditor as someone with a “noble agenda” instead of a self-serving one.
Today I attempted to summon the scattered receipts that supposedly tell the story of my life and line them up in some sort of numerical order. I wanted to be happier about it. I wanted to feel some sense of joy in placing all the numbers in the right column and having them all add up to something meaningful.
But I must admit, I felt better about raking up my front yard and cleaning out my kitchen drawers and doing the kind of outer accounting that prepares me for the inner accounting. Some may call this stalling, but the physical act of moving things around and seeing the immediate effects of my actions warmed me up for the mental lifting of crunching numbers.
In the end it could be that numbers, like actions, speak louder than words. Or I may learn to wield them like words. When that time comes, my taxes will be ready by the end of January and I might possibly be good at math.
In the meantime, I’ll let life add up as it will. I’ll just need a receipt for that.
Six word summary: Taxes ready if numbers were words.