Sunday, April 4, 2010
April 5, 2010
A CANE ON ICE, IT'S TAX TIME!
I attended my first Crappy Derby this year. (Remember the movie Grumpy Old Men). It exists. Trucks and building structures and people on a frozen lake; fishing.
There is a gentleman probably in his upper 80's with a cane pulling a sled with his "building and "fishing supplies" behind him. I am amazed that he is out here on the ice with a cane! I realize that he has probably been doing this annual Crappy Derby for longer than I have been alive. He was going to participate no matter what. It is what he had always done. I was reminded instantly of the power of our habits. They will put us in danger, have us ignore what is before us in plain sight. What price are we are willing to pay to do as we have always done?
Taxes, taxes, taxes, they are our friend.
Well...I enjoy getting a refund. A lump sum of money. But I used to always hate having to go through all of my receipts. I spent days going over my receipts, but the accountant always had other questions that would involve more days of looking things up. I had always been told if I tallied up my expenses and income monthly, it would make things a whole lot easier. But year after year I instead choose to do what I had always done. Tally, sort, and search through receipts and dread, dread, dread tax time.
I finally had to recognize that doing what I had always done was not working. I was tired enough of the dread to be willing to do what I had never done before. Tally my receipts monthly. Last year, it took hours to do my taxes, instead of days. This year it took less than 10 minutes!! I took note of what the accountant really needed last year and I set my spreadsheet up with those categories included. Practically, it took 10 minutes. But what was most important was that this tax season, spiritually, I had no feelings of dread!
If you have not done your taxes, please, please, please, please get them done. Aren't you tired of having to pay a price? Turn off the tv, turn on the radio, invite over a friend, pop some popcorn, get the box of receipts, pull out your check ledgers, pull up your credit card/bank statements online and start calculating. Get it over with! In many cases you are only keeping yourself from receiving your refund. If you owe and can't pay the whole amount, set up a payment plan. You must tackle practically what you have been avoiding. It is the only way for you to spiritually be free of the dread.
If you carve out time and make yourself a priority in the way that you make your job or your family a priority, it will be done. Put yourself on the calendar. If you are filing with your spouse, pull out your calendars together and mark the date and time to do it together. If it takes you five hours to do it, that will still be less than the 24 hour day after day process of living in dread from now until April 15th. Or if you think it is better to put in an extension, then you live with the dread from now until October! Please, get off of the ice.
Why are we willing to hold on to our habits that produce months and years of dread? Why are we willing to live our lives with a cane on ice?
PLAN OF ACTION:
Finish your taxes!
Allow yourself to be free of the dread.
Use the rest of the month to complete your spreadsheet. Collect and add your receipts monthly. Note what you or the accountant needed. Set up your categories accordingly. Tally your receipts, income, expenses, mileage, whatever pertains to you, each month. Use the month of April to get your systems in place for the rest of the year. (Refer to February's blog for a mock spreadsheet.)
I would love to know how you feel about tax time? Have you done them? Why or why not? What process do you use? What do you need spiritually and/or practically to get your taxes done?