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Are You Thinking About Taxes?

     Are you thinking about taxes? I know, it’s September – back to school and days getting shorter and national elections coming up… but I just wondered if any of you are thinking about taxes. I know some of you go Christmas shopping in August, so I thought maybe someone was way ahead of me on taxes, too.

     It isn’t hard to be ahead of me on anything lately. Work’s ratcheting up so’s I can’t hardly keep behind, and there’s so much family stuff I want to be doing – the kids’ kids (that would be the grandkids) are back in school, one starting junior high, another just got his driver’s license - and my checkbook, which of course isn’t a real checkbook any more, it’s that easy-to-use-if-you-have-time Quicken software – is eight months behind and that stack of bank statements and VISA statements and all those medical co-payments isn’t getting any smaller and it sure isn’t going to walk over to my computer and type itself in. I’m thinking maybe my roommate would just love to learn how to Quicken! and then he could get all that stuff caught up before –

     Taxes come around. They do, you know. Come around. And I’m nowhere near ready for them and at the rate I’m going April’s going to get here and if I make it past Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas and Groundhog Day, I’ll only have a few days left to make darn sure I don’t pay Uncle Sam any more than I owe him.

     So I’m thinking about taxes when I should be watching the Padres going off to the play-offs if they can only get that wild card spot, or admiring those superb athletes at the Olympics or driving down to the mall to join all those September Christmas shoppers.

     Yeah, I know I said they shop in August – but August disappeared two paragraphs ago and now it’s September already and the time’s going to change and I won’t even have evenings to sit out and watch the sunset, plus I’ll have to get up earlier because the sun shining through the window won’t let me sleep and I’ll just lie there thinking about -

     Taxes. See? Taxes are a year-round thing. Can’t escape them. They’re down at the gas pump adding to the exorbitant prices; they’re staring you in the face every time you eat out at a sit-down restaurant or buy a birthday gift for your nephew; and they pop right out of your paycheck every week. And if you’re not working, well… lucky you!

     But you still have to pay taxes. No one doesn’t have to pay taxes. So you gotta think about it. Now. In September. And again in October and all the way to April when all those people drive down to the Midway Post Office at two minutes to midnight because they didn’t think about their taxes while the kids were going off to school and they didn’t think about their taxes when their “tax man” called them to beg for their tax records the day before Easter and aren’t you glad I reminded you about your taxes?

     ’Cause now you have seven and a half months to think about those taxes and about all that money you’re going to get back from Uncle Sam and you even have time to go out and buy a new car so you can deduct that huge DMV fee and get a whole bunch more money back.

     You know what? I don’t even charge for all this free advice. That’s only ’cause if I did, I’d have to pay more taxes – but then again, you could deduct my tax advice fees and maybe we could split the extra…

     They really ought to simplify the tax code. And what in heck are we doing – talking about taxes in September? Have a nice fall…

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