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Procrastination springs eternal at tax time

Spring is finally meandering in, and along with all the buds and birds, and tiny woodland creatures, comes something else thatís not so nice. In fact, it strikes fear into the hearts of procrastinators everywhere. What is this hideous horror?

Why, itís Tax Day, also known as Monday, April 15th.

This is the day, as all dilly-dalliers know, that our income taxes are due. It is the last day. The deadline. The drop dead date. The point of no return. Or is it the point of no returns? See, I can still make jokes even though I am one of those slowpoke stragglers.

Last year, I was even more of a laggard. I waited until the very last possible minute to get my taxes done. I literally was speeding down the Thruway to Cheektowaga, to leap from my car, lunge into the only open post office in the area, and launch my tax returns into the mail slot at the stroke of closing time.

That was entirely too close for comfort. I vowed that the next year I would get my taxes done the minute that my W-2ís arrived at my door. Yes, sir. I was going to be the first in line, instead of the last one squealing into a post office parking lot.

Well, chalk it up to best laid plans and all of thatÖ but my intention to get my taxes finished early went something like this. ďOh, itís January? I have four months before I have to worry. Iíll get them done in February. Thatís still plenty early.Ē

In February, I did think about scheduling my appointment. I really did. No, really. I did. But thinking about it and doing it, of course are two different things. Before I knew it, it was March.

But, technically, there were still 6 weeks to get them done. Lots of time left. So, I planned on doing them sometime in March. And thenÖ I donít know what happened.

All of a sudden it was April. Where did the time go? By the time I figured out that time does indeed fly, another week went by. Time to panic!

I vowed I was never going to do the drive of shame on the last day again. So I did manage to get an appointment this past weekend to get the dang things done.

But where were my W-2ís and W-9ís? My receipts? My charitable contributions? I hadnít seen any of those things for months!

Luckily, I have a filing system. Well, actually itís a laundry basket with a hanging file do-hickey in it. But I was able to get it all together in an enormous pile and stuff it in a grocery bag for easy transport.

There was a brief moment of hyperventilation when I realized I was missing a W-2, but a quick check under the mountain of paperwork on my desk soon brought it to light.

How it got out of the laundry basket, Iíll never know.

At last, I was at the tax place. And 10 days early too. As I dumped my plastic bag of financial mayhem on the desk in front of my poor beleaguered tax guy, I breathed a sigh of relief. I made it with plenty of time to spare. So, maybe I didnít get everything done in January, but Iím not doing a sliding limbo move under a closing post office gate this Monday night either. Baby steps.

Maybe next year, Iíll shoot for late March.


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