They’re baaaaack!ï¿½ All those forms.ï¿½ You know what I mean.ï¿½ It’s January, so all the forms necessary to file our taxes are filling our mailboxes.ï¿½ They serve as a grim reminder of the nasty task that lies ahead.ï¿½ What I mean by “nasty task” is the prep work that needs to be done to file the taxes.
So, last night I decided to put in order all of our medical receipts and records for 2010 to hand over to our tax preparer.ï¿½ Quite frankly, the stack of paper accumulated over the year is overwhelming.ï¿½ (We had a banner year, health-wise.)
The job ahead would involve putting all this paperwork in some sort of order, and then inputting info into an excel spreadsheet.ï¿½ I was looking at 2-3 hours of sorting and another 2-3 hours of computer workï¿½ And then I started to wonder…. is all this record-keeping really necessary. ï¿½ï¿½After all, according to Andy Rooney, “Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don’t need to be done.”ï¿½ Gives you pause for thought, doesn’t it!
And then I started to fantasize what my defense would be in an IRS audit.ï¿½ “Well, sir,” I’d say, “a 1-inch stack of receipts equals $1,000 in write-offs, so my 4-inch stack must equal $4,000!”ï¿½ Will this fly?ï¿½ Can I get away with it?ï¿½ Dare I try?ï¿½
A recent report found a 41% error rate on tax returns prepared by the IRS’s Free Assistance Program.ï¿½ So I guess a reasonable defense on my behalf could be that not many of us really know what we’re doing – even those who are “Pros” in the field!ï¿½
Anyway, I’ve chickened-out.ï¿½ I spent over 2 hours last night putting the paperwork in order.ï¿½ ï¿½And I’m sorry, Andy.ï¿½ You’re right, of course.ï¿½ Nevertheless, though, I will sometime soon use my computer to input info that I fervently pray I will never, ever, ever need to look at again….at least, not in an audit!