Filing Taxes – Why Hurry?

I thought I was the world’s worst procrastinator. Turns out, my accountant is worse. Well, maybe not actually but it seems that way to me.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I absolutely LOVE my accountant. She’s fabulous, charges me less than others have, and gets me a refund every year, usually just a few hundred.

She handles records, books, and tax returns for many businesses and self-employed individuals, requiring multiple filings every year. Since I’m not a corporation and not pulling in a million a year (don’t I with!), my income tax return is relatively simple and tends to get pushed to last.

Not that she doesn’t do a fabulous job. I’ve never had such a thorough accountant so familiar with tax laws. And filing late gives me more time to gather my records, which is really a blessing.

Used to be, I’d gather all my tax paperwork by mid-February for filing in March. That way, I’d get my refund before the last-minute rush and spend it on vacation.

Nowadays, I have until the end of September to get all my records and numbers entered into a spreadsheet that she provides. Then, my accountant does her magic and I get a refund just in time for Christmas shopping. It’s never a lot; I don’t want to loan the government a lot of my money. The refund is just enough to help with extra December expenses.

The problem is, I need a deadline to complete a task. You know that old adage, “Work will expand to the time allotted to complete it.” Maybe it should be, “Work will only be completed when the time allotted is limited.”

April 15 isn’t my income tax deadline anymore, so I usually wait until August or later to gather my records. It would be much easier to pull out all of last year’s records in the beginning of January, before adding all the current year’s receipts in the file drawers. But if I can put it off, so much the better.

The end result is the same. My taxes get filed, I get a refund, and Uncle Sam is satisfied. All without the mid-April stress.

Sometimes it’s good to procrastinate, but don’t think I’m telling anyone to do it. Mostly, it’s best to get things done the first time and on time.

But every once in a while, take a breather and see if you can remove some of your stress. It may be worth it.

(I should have written this post earlier, but today was my deadline. Why hurry?)