Friday, April 15, 2011

The Smartest Thing I've Done

During the first few years I was employed I filed my own taxes. It was a venture filled with apprehension.

Even though I made very little money and was a compulsive rule-follower, this did not lessen my fear of the Internal Revenue Service. I based my payroll deductions on the fact that I was a single person with no children, because, well, I was a single person with no children. Those daredevils who over-deducted and counted on this enforced savings program to bring them a hefty refund after they filed their returns were risk-takers on a scale I couldn't even imagine.

Nevertheless, even as a compulsive rule-follower I lived in terror that I would somehow mess up my 1040EZ form and that the government would come after me and my assets. ("Nooooooo!!! Don't take my 1971 Army-green Ford Maverick!")

Then I met and married Husband, and learned to embrace the complexities of tax law. He was aghast at the thought of deliberately over-deducting ("What? And let the government get that interest instead of you?") and knew all kinds of cool deductions and not-so-cool non-deductions, and saved me from jail time by knowing the difference between the two.

I smiled through tax season, knowing that at some point he would bring home a tax return, already filled out and with sticky Post-it arrows instructing me to "Sign Here!" six or eight places.We always have the same conversation. He says, "Do you want me to go through it line by line or just hit the high points?" And I look at him and wonder if the tax season has taken such a toll on my beloved that he would think I would prefer the former. Then I sign six or eight times, and voila! Done for the year!

I no longer fear the IRS will take away my Maverick, which is a good thing because she was traded in on a slightly newer vehicle a long time ago, and if there's one thing the government doesn't need, it's a Suburban that's transported four Boys from childhood into adulthood.

Marrying a CPA may have been the smartest thing I've ever done.

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