Ah, tax time. Every January 1st the clock starts and the panic sets in. Because I have a day job AND a failing side business (thanks George Bush), I have to have everything sorted out in Quickbooks. (Refer to the blog about the call to Sam at Intuit.) Luckily my partner in crime of all things fried and delicious (and sugary), Lauren, is skilled in the accounting department, so she helped me enter all my credit card and bank statements. If I thought I was just retarded in the social department, I was dead wrong. I'm even MORE retarded in the banking, numbers, adding, subtracting and wondering what the F a 'debit offset' is department! Yea, Lauren got to watch me nervously wring my hands as she tried to explain some things to me. You see, when I was a kid, growing up in a house of intellectuals, I used to just say "I'm an artist! Leave me alone!" Us creative types are fuzzy on all things logical....although Lauren is creative too.....hmm, oh well, blows that theory out of the water.....but, I'm just thankful SHE gets it, cuz I REALLY don't!
Now here's the thing about valium. I don't take any drugs. Ever. Not even the recreational kind. I've never smoked pot, never popped a pill just cuz and I barely use Tylenol and the like because.....well, it usually doesn't work. But the few times that I have had surgeries and they've started me out on valium......I liked it. A LOT. I became the Mayor, or Miss America as I was wheeled down the hall, waving to everyone and cracking jokes. I thought I was funny! And I probably just slurred words like a stoned crazy person, but I was having fun. So with the impending doom of finding out how much I owed in taxes this year, I was really wishing I could hang with Prince Valium until the big reveal. But I didn't have any and thats not how I roll anyway, I face things HEAD ON!! And I was sure this was going to be another collision of epic proportions!
Anyhoo. So I rolled up to my accountants office last Saturday and before I put my purse down I begged, "Please!! Be good to me this year!" He said "Aren't I always?" to which I replied "Yes, but I need you to be SUPER EXTRA good to me this year!!"
You see, for the year 2008, I spent half the year as a 1099 freelancer and the other half on staff with my day job. So last year I ended up owing the state about $1000 and I owed $12,000 in federal taxes. Yea, I heard you say ouch and you ain't kidding! Thats a big, grab your backside "OUCH!". I had told Lauren to pray that I only owe 4 digits this year instead of 5, so I was hoping for a total of anything less than $10,000. It was a rough year and to make matters worse, my day job cut our pay by 10% so I was making even LESS in 2009. I guess its good cuz its less taxes, but I just felt the pinch all year!
So my accountant plugged all the numbers in and with my losses from my side business (thanks George Bush), which never seems to help much, I was sure I had wax build up because I swore he said that I only owed $1300 to the federal and the great (broke) state of California owed ME $350!
You have to repeat that, cuz I just hallucinated....
"You only owe $1300 federal"
Are you sure?
No, no, the decimal point is in the wrong place...
...it has to be.....
Did you add that up right?
Did you hit the wrong button?
I always owe A LOT more! That can't be right.....
"You were on staff all last year and so you paid a boat load in taxes so this is right."
I never wanted to kiss a man like I wanted to kiss this man! Poor thing, I probably scared him. I think he could smell I was contemplating jumping over the desk because he nervously rolled his chair back. And then I remembered that I was getting some money back from the STATE!! So I basically owe about $1000! And since I thought hell was descending on me, I had already saved that much up! This is the first year that I can pay my taxes ON TIME!
OH HAPPY DAY!!!
I was so in shock. I had spent weeks having anxiety in my sleep. Waking up at 4am worrying, worrying at the grocery store, the laundromat, the movies, the frozen yogurt shop, the gym. I spent weeks strategizing how I was going to come up with $10,000.....sell my kidney? Pimp my car out as a taxi? Going door to door with a sandwich smock putting those tree trimming fliers on apartment doors? (Get it? Tree trimming fliers for apartments? Yea, I get those all the time....and no, I have no trees.)
I had worried myself stupid.
And then I remembered it.
Something a very wise and VERY handsome man had said.
"Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere."
Write that down.
So the skies have parted and the relief has set in and I am just so glad that I can relax now. Phew.
Lemme say it again.....