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February 5, 2023

Wait, Are Paper Tax Organizers Still a Thing?

Look, I admit that I’ve been out of the game for awhile, so forgive me if I sound, um, supercilious, but are paper tax organizers still a thing?

Look, I admit that I've been out of the game for awhile, so forgive me if I sound, um, supercilious, but are paper tax organizers still a thing?

Seriously, I have to ask because I read this slightly amusing essay over at the Wall Street Journal that reminded me that paper tax organizers sent by snail mail were actually something used by CPAs:

Every year my accountant sends me a thick package, something called a Tax Organizer. I’m supposed to fill out the questionnaire, paper-clip my various tax documents and send the whole thing back to him for a timely and orderly tax filing.

But what I really do, as I work my way through the Tax Organizer 2015, is reflect on the drab and colorless life that I lead.

My first job out grad school was at a boutique CPA firm almost 13 years ago and we used tax organizers. I thought it was archaic thing to do then. Maybe I shouldn't assume that the author's CPA is still rubbing flint and steel together to heat his home every night, but tax organizers? Sent by the US Postal Service? In 2016? You know we're launching and landing rockets now, right? Sure, cars aren't flying, but they are driving themselves. And blockchain! That's even accounting related. That's going to do…uh…something!

Again, not to be a jerk, but tax organizers are monumental waste of time and paper and don't most clients just dump them right in the trash? I mean, maybe this is an isolated incident, but I don't know because I just figured the accounting profession at large would've realized, at some point, that there's a better way to get a client's information. If I'm wrong, then just let me know and we'll drop it.

And, once again, sorry if I'm offending anyone or everyone with my disbelief, but paper tax organizers? Is this really still a thing? It can't be, right? Come on. Really.


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