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Reminders for The Idiots Out There Who Have Yet to Get Their Tax Stuff Together

tax returns prepare deadline

Still busy, I see.

Hello American Taxpayer,

How are you? Good? Great, that’s swell. Hey, here’s a question — have you thought about your tax return? No? Oh, yes, I did hear that March Madness is going on. But did you also know that the tax return filing deadline is coming up soon? What’s that? You can’t believe where the time goes? Ah, yes, well it keeps on going, that’s for sure. Were you also caught off guard by New Year’s Day, Wikipedia Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, National Hugging Day, the Super Bowl, Ice Cream for Breakfast Day, Valentine’s Day, Presidents Day, Pi Day, and Stone Cold Steve Austin Day?

Look, it’s okay, you’ve probably been busy making Oscar predictions, poring over your busted brackets, and reading about how a porn star might bring down a president. We get it; you have priorities. The good news is, you can still get your forms and receipts together and file your tax return without pissing off your CPA. The bad news is, that window is closing fast. Opinions may differ, but I’d say you have until March 31 to get your act together. Beyond that date, if you show up to your CPA’s office with a shoebox of forms and receipts, you should expect to watch in horror as they are set on fire and the ashes spread in the wind.

So! With all that in mind, we should cover a few reminders to prepare you for visiting with your friendly CPA. Similar to tardiness, being ill-prepared is not advisable.

  • No shoeboxes — Maybe you picked up on this above, but dumping a bunch of paper into a cardboard container is not preparation; it is trash. Trash goes in the garbage.
  • Non-cash charitable contributions — Do you have a pile of blank receipts from Goodwill, The Salvation Army, et al.? Did it slip your mind to document the thousands of dollars worth of used clothes, third-hand furniture, canned goods, and a broken-down Ford Festiva that you claim you donated to these organizations? Yes? Okay, then prepare thyself to get a deduction of $500 and not a penny more.
  • Fraud! — You need to be open to the possibility that someone has already used your Social Security number to obtain a fraudulent refund. Yeah, sorry, it sucks. They probably bought a sweet new big screen to watch the tournament on. Not only that, but you’ll probably have to navigate a series of Kafkaesque phone calls with the IRS to clear it all up.
  • Where’s the money? — You got a lot of 1099s this year, good for you. Right, GIG ECONOMY, BRO. Yes, we’ve heard. Hey, did you happen to notice if those 1099s had any amounts in the “Federal income tax withheld” box? There wasn’t. Huh. Okay, did you make any estimated payments? I see, you don’t know what those are. Alright, well, you’re not going to like what happens next. GIG ECONOMY, BRO.
  • You’re not a tax protester, dummy — Oh, you’ve been doing some research on the internet? Well, there’s your problem right there.
  • Your CPA is busy — I know we said that your CPA wouldn’t be pissed, but we were just being nice. Yes, you’re better off than the losers out there asking any accountant with a pulse for help, but what the hell have you been doing?

I realize this might be a stern letter, but contrary to what you may have heard, CPAs are people too. They have loved ones and dogs and some even like basketball. If you had gotten your act together this year, maybe they’d get to enjoy more of those things this week.

Honestly, your layabout attitude when it comes to tax returns makes you a bad person. You may not be what’s entirely wrong with this country, but you’re certainly not helping. There, I said it. Enjoy the basketball.