"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom" Albert Einstein

"A dame who knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up." Mae West

Sunday, March 14, 2010

8 down and 4 to go

My new year actually starts January 15.  That's generally the first day tax practioners can begin efiling. From that date until March 15 is always a whirlwind of paper shuffling, computations, crying, laughing and empathizing with clients' lives.

And if you think April 15 is the only deadline, you'd be wrong. Within those first eight weeks is the deadline for W-2 and 1099 forms, the deadline  for sending those reports to the IRS & Social Security, March 1 for farm tax returns, and March 15 for corporations, partnerships, and trusts. Add to the mix every Tom, Dick, and Harry that knows he's getting a refund and wants it yesterday and it results in the busiest eight weeks each and every year.  I'm not complaining; if I didn't truly enjoy it, I would quit in a heartbeat, but I love my work and my clients (well, most of them.)

The eight week period has been a bit more challenging this year. Approximately 4 out of 5 tax returns in the first few weeks had reportable unemployment compensation.  Clients were depressed, emotionally drained, and scared of the prospect of no income when the unemployment runs out. Some had marriages that were in deep trouble.  They appreciated an empathetic ear and additional appointment time to share their sorrows. (No extra charge for the wet shoulder).

Then in January, my mother had a medical emergency that landed her in the hospital for a few days.  That brought some sleepless nights and extra work to make sure my father had what he needed while she was gone.

By the time she got back home, my husband came down with influenza, which was an especially strong respiratory virus infecting most people in the area, including many of my tax clients. With a little pampering, he was over the worst of it in about 10 days, and I did my best handwashing to avoid getting it myself. I could not afford to get sick at this time of the year and deal with parental issues on top of it.

Unfortunately, my 98 year old father-in-law came down with it and pneumonia and more.  He was succumbing quickly and also required hospitalization where he lay in isolation and the prognosis was bleak for a week.  Then he turned the corner and started getting better. After a two day nursing home stay, with oxygen and day help arranged, he is now home recouperating, but 24 hour care is required for a while. So husband is spending evenings and sleeping there for now and I'm hauling meals across town.

Fortunately the pace of work slows to a manageable level for the next couple of weeks, until another major landslide after April 1 when all the proscrastinators start rolling in.

This is simply an apology and a warning.  I'm sorry I haven't been posting as often as I should, resorting to lame memes at times, but as you can see, life got in the way.  The warning - if I disappear again between April 1 and April 15, don't worry. I'll be back in full force soon.


Memphis said...

Mrs. Memphis can totally sympathize with you and the income tax crap. She just calls it "tax season" and she's already talking about all the extensions they're going to have to file because they're so far behind. She loves that stuff. God only knows why.

white rabbit said...

It's quite okay! :D There are plenty of things more important than blogging. And lame memes acceptable...

Alice said...

I'm in that hand washing mode big time these days, and for the most part it seems to work well. My oncologist reminds me that most of the germs we dread so come from our own selves. You've had a few challenges here, but things always begin to look better somehow as spring fully commits. I'm grateful for the sunshine, and every day that comes when I feel good enough to surf and catch up with my blogging friends. Your big date (April 15) will soon be behind you. Good luck.