Well, we survived another deadline. Tuesday was the final filing date for corporations. We’re used to that. No problem. But IRS also made that the new filing deadline for partnerships, trusts, estates and any other pass-through entity you could imagine. Suddenly, all the entities we used to be able to do when we finalized the personal returns, also had to be completed on September 15th, a month early. Several tax professionals told me they were struggling to meet the deadline, too, working through the weekends and the nights. But hey, that’s the tax season deadline adrenaline rush we tax pros love to experience several times each year. Some people say it’s almost as good as sex.
But boy, the satisfaction you get when you hit that target and get to collapse in heap, insensible to all outside stimuli, drooling helplessly, hoping someone will lift you up and place you safely into a nice, soft, cuddly bed, until the post-deadline coma passes. Aaaaahhhhhh…yessss…
You surface just in time to find yourself facing another deadline, barely 30 days away – and a New Year – 5770. And it was just 5723 last time I blinked! Time surely passes quickly when you’re having fun. Yes, I remember 5723 well. We’d been reunited with our parents after spending only a year waiting for papers to come through to let my brother and me enter the United States. (Some people wait years! We got lucky.) My full-leg cast had just come off and I was learning to walk again without having my leg fly off, released from all that extra weight. I was starting a new school, as a shy, weird, gimpy kid with a funny accent. And the whole world was ahead of me.
Who ever could have anticipated that I’d ever be doing tax returns, much less teaching people about the tax laws. Nothing could have been further from any frame of reference I had then. Back then, I knew two things about my future:
1) I wanted to write. Of course, I was thinking in terms of gathering folk stories from the old people around the world and saving them. After all, I had learned a really special secret. If you sit in an old lady’s or old man’s lap, they will tell you stories. They’ll tell you stories about their country, or their family, or even folk tales filled with magic and mystery and wonder. My grandfather used to tell me those kinds of stories all the time. I used to know them by heart. And like all children – knew the stories with each and every nuance my grandfather used. Why can’t I remember even one today? (Do you think I can get them back through hypnosis? Someday, I’ll try – and record the session to preserve the stories.)
2) I wanted to make the world better. I didn’t know how, exactly, but part of it had to do with women’s rights. (The Glorias got there before me – Allred, Steinem and all the powerful women who risked so much.) By the time I grew up, they had removed so many of the primary obstacles for women. There’s still work to do – but the big job is done. Though, I’ll admit that I’ve devoted years to helping women learn to be financially independent, and to run successful businesses. Part of my dream had to do with getting people to understand each other and stop killing each other. Whew! That’s a big job. Too big for a little girl like me to tackle. But from the very first Enrolled Agent Exam Review Course I started teaching at UCLA, I managed to convince people with diverse backgrounds, cultures and languages to form study groups with each other and ultimately learn about one another’s culture and perspective. Over the years, some pretty good friendships have been created and still are. After all, how can you hate or harm someone you’ve come to know and respect, and perhaps even to love? No part of my dream included doing anything with the tax system. Yet, that’s where I seem to have made a big mark, fixing problems and systems, behind the scenes; working with the most dedicated and comptetent IRS and State staff, who are happy to find and implement solutions. Yes, even one person, with positive suggestions, can improve tax administration. You can too – even without being on any formal committees. Just speak up when you find a problem – and propose a practical solution. If you can’t find someone to tell, tell me! I’ll pass it along.
Reflecting on life? Yes, that’s the kind of thing you do this time of year. Looking back on mine? From early childhood on, I’ve always been a caretaker, protecting helpless children and people from adult or peer brutality – these days from the sometimes arbitrary treatment of tax officials. I’ve been fortunate to make some good friends, some of whom have been in my life since birth. And I’ve lost ties to people I’ve loved; sometimes without even understanding why. Other times, simply due to time and distance. I’ve never gotten wealthy. Money was, oddly enough, never my big motivation. Yet I feel incredibly rich.
I am surrounded by a delightful and irritating husband, dear family, great friends, fascinating students, a yard full of happy, lively creatures (birds, squirrels, raccoons, possums, bees…even mosquitos and black widow spiders…) who entertain and amuse us. I have a car that runs, and keeps me safe. There are people who take care of my needs (car, home, hair, clothes, etc.) who constantly make me valued and special. I get to do work that I love. While I aspire to accomplish more, to help more, to improve the world more…I am very content with my life.
Take a good look at your own life – now and up to now. Look at all the wonderful things and people who surround you. Look at the bounty you have in things and people, especially compared to others who have so much less. Remember to thank all those people in your life that you take for granted every day. Be happy!
In IRS News this week we learn all about the kinds of records a business should keep. This is a detailed list that looks like a lot of work, but is really common sense.
In today’s Money Funny tells you Where Would You Be If..
In TaxQuips this week we learn what happens if you make all your quarterly estimated tax payments at one time – at the end of the year – instead of each quarter; When you file Form 3115 to catch up on all the depreciation that wasn’t taken for years, can you deduct it all at one time? Can the state you used to live in tax the pension you’re receiving in the state where you now live? May an executor of an estate in New Jersey take a fee for the value of the personal residence?
As always, we love your feedback, opinions and ideas.
You are what makes all this fun – and interesting!
Please use the Comments link online.
Hugs from your favorite TaxNerd,
Eva Rosenberg, EA
Your TaxMama is watching…out for you.
TAX CALENDAR 2009
10.15.2009 Personal returns – FINAL DEADLINE
10.15.2009 Employers Make monthly Payroll tax deposit
11.02.2009 3rd Quarterly Payroll Returns and Pay Taxes Due
11.02.2009 3rd Quarterly Sales Tax Returns and Pay Taxes Due
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