After Taxes

I know it’s foolish to say NEVER AGAIN but I’ll say it anyway – NEVER AGAIN WILL WE FILE FOR AN INCOME TAX EXTENSION. It’s hard enough reconstructing the previous year from spring-fresh April but in October, when this entire year is on the wane, how is it possible to remember the year before? Both Eric and I still work by the old “bag o’ receipts” method, so there’s a constant “Oh look, here’s a menu and business card from Lexington Barbq, was that last year the guy thought you were Roger Daltrey or was that this year?”  With all the technology available to us, we still reconstruct our touring lives from pages torn out of Moleskine notebooks and fading scraps of paper along with online bank statements, though there came a point in the receipt sifting where we were further reduced to scrolling through Facebook timeline 2014 trying to recreate a patchy section of last year: “Eureka! It says here ‘I’m driving an ashtray to Dallas’, the date is June 10 – you were in TEXAS that month?!” Last year, after decades of using accountants, we decided to go it alone with Turbotax – after all, most of the work is gathering the information, right? Just a matter of putting those numbers in there…by the point when we were filling in all the numbers for 2013 after many moments of doubt and one desperate phone message left for my friend the accountant who wasn’t taking calls since it was after all April 14, we convinced ourselves “This is fun! This is easy!” and decided to hang out our shingle as The Musical Accountants. “It’ll be great, we can have a bunch of instruments around the room and people can play while they wait for us to do their taxes.” Yes, we were that good last year, but wait – it wasn’t October last year, it was April and – remind me, what year are we in NOW?


I’d been crowing about how great Turbotax is, but yesterday at a crucial moment, when I’d been plugging numbers in for hours and coming to the end of the process – the program just shut down. Updates started updating and when I went to open it again, you guessed it – everything was gone. The smarmy clip art accountant guy was asking “Would you like me to walk you through everything? Let’s see how we can get you the biggest refund!”

“You already did that you bastard! Two days ago! God no, this can’t be happening!” Will you think I’m a total idiot when I tell you I never bothered to save the whole time I was working in Turbotax?

The HELP page took me to a Community Board where desperate people just like me typed heartbreaking questions into the void: “Worked for three days, ALL DATA LOST, tell me how to get it back?”

After collapsing on the couch to watch an Adam Sandler movie that made me question my entire life (there was a time I loved him…so much) we got back up and running again and managed to get it all done, saving all the while. FILED. SMALL REFUND. High fives in the kitchen. But there isn’t that camaraderie with the rest of the country like in April. In October you’re really alone in this.

I’m worn out – for next year, let the record show that October 15 I went to California for a few days.

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