“Taxes” with an empty checkbox has been on the top of our white board list for so long that the dry erase ink is starting to fade. We rode out that IRS extension to the end of the trail. Now it’s time to file taxes.
As an armchair economist, I love budgeting. I love personal budgets and agency budgets, revenue and expenses and forecasting. I love behavior prediction and externalities and applying formulas and charts and all of that good stuff.
So why do I put taxes off to the last minute every year? Why doesn’t the love for economics translate to taxes? Perhaps it’s a similar division along the line that makes us “algebra” people or “geometry” people. Or maybe disliking taxes is just embedded into the DNA of Americans because our tax system is so frustrating and terrible. Whatever the reason, I do put them off. The unpleasant chore defaults to Sal every year, which is probably unfair.
“Hey,” I say, “we should start our taxes.”
“Oh yeah, it’s almost time. I keep forgetting.”
“I could do them this year,” I say, in what I hope is a neutral, believable tone.
“Nah, that’s ok. I have all the stuff on my laptop anyway. I can do it this weekend.”
“Ok!” I say, a little too quickly maybe.
Thus, Day 61 of Shelter in Place finds Sal staring bleary eyed into his laptop, forms and receipts littering our table, painfully trudging through our financial life history of 2019.
What am I grateful for today?
That Sal didn’t call my bluff on my offer to do the taxes.
What am I looking forward to after the Quarantine?
I am starting to wonder if there is an ‘after the Quarantine’ to look forward to – it seems we are headed instead for a gray area transition to something in between, without a clear ‘before’ and ‘after’ boundary. So maybe I should change this question again?