Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Laughin' and cryin'...

There is an advantage for self-employed people to get the extension to October 15 to file the tax return that is due in April. Self-employed people are required to make quarterly payments of estimated taxes based on earnings from the previous year, so this is not about paying the tax--unless not enough money has been paid in each quarter--we’re just talking about the tax return.

I take care of entering the income and expenses into an accounting program, which prints out all sorts of handy dandy reports, and we have a computer program that does the calculations and prints the return, but getting to that point is very, very stressful for him because operating a business out of your home complicates things and he still has to come up with the raw figures to plug into the computer.

The death of Steve Jobs last week certainly did give pause for thought. Our first computer was an Apple IIE...

and it took almost 8 hours to run the reports that I can do now in 3 minutes.

Every year I hope that Richard will set aside a certain time each week to work on the taxes so that when the deadline looms he will basically have it done. So far, this has not happened. He has been in panic mode for about a month now, and he finally finished it over the weekend.

We always celebrate filing the tax return. Yesterday morning after I came back from aerobics, he was in and out of my office several times over the course of an hour – right when I was in the middle of finishing two manuscripts for the hardest journal I have to work on – coming up with ideas for what we should do. We would tentatively decide something and then he would come back with another idea; or, to be fair, I would come up with an idea and go tell him. In any event, by about 10 a.m., I was ready to bop him in the head.

By 11 a.m., I had just about finished the last of the manuscripts (“it was all over but the shouting”) I had started working on hours earlier, and went into the kitchen to get my lunch. Richard was in there bustling around getting food on his plate, and I started talking to him about this journal and how hard it is, and then I sort of laughed and said, “It’s just a journal for cryin’ out loud” and then I really did start to cry at the same time that he started to laugh, and then I was in his arms and he was laughing and I was crying and laughing at the same time and yes, one really can laugh and cry at the same time. The crying helped, actually and the day improved dramatically.

Shortly after lunch Richard walks in and hands me a list of things he wants me to print from the check record for 2011. “I am not going to go through this again next year,” he says.

Then about 2 pm Richard says “I’ll be outside for a while…”

Can I come? I was in my "afternoon slump" and ready for a break. 


No? How come?

But he was out the door and I was stewing. I walked out on the porch but I didn't see him anywhere in the yard. In a little while he came in with vase of flowers, scooted things around next to my monitor, and set them down.

“Happy Fall,” he says.



Wanda..... said...

A comforting sweet post Leilani...I was commiserating and smiling the whole time. I have a Richard too, we used to own a few rental properties and our tax time wasn't as complicated I'm sure, but had it's own stress.

Richard's lovely bouguet was such a 'Happy Fall' moment in your day!

Oklahoma Granny said...

What a sweet guy to bring you flowers. Tax time is the pits.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Tax time is stressful no matter what the time of year..how complicated can the government make things anyway.
How sweet that he brought you flowers..:)

Have Myelin? said...

Happy Fall Leilani!

Yes you can laugh and cry at the same time, I do it all the time LOL and not about taxes. I've fallen off the lowest tax bracket rate I guess since I pay nothing lol.

I love your flowers! So pretttty...