That horrid time of year is here again. That season when you start digging for receipts in every nook and cranny, when suddenly hating the government is fashionable again, when April 15th becomes a dirty word. Of course, I’m talking about tax season. Too many people do their own taxes in an effort to save money (and often make mistakes, which costs them money), but that doesn’t make the process any less painful. If you’ve decided to dig through nonsensical tax terminology and find out exactly how much the government has taken out of your paychecks on your own, here are a few suggestions to lighten the load.
1) Drinks and Taxes – Everyone knows that math and inebriation is a bond as old as time. Something about alcohol makes all that adding and dividing much simpler, or perhaps less stressful. Make a drink game out of it. Drink every time you make a mistake in your arithmetic.
2) Cards and Calculators – Organize a poker night. While all your friends play each other, you do your taxes. This way you’ll have company and you won’t feel like your losing money alone.
3) Strip Taxes – You and your significant other settle in one night and go through your taxes. If and when either of you misreads part of the filing procedures OR forgets a step, you must remove an article of clothing. Obviously the goal here is to find something far more entertaining to do in the process.
4) Place Your Bets – The only thing more American than taxes is betting on ridiculous things. Create a pool to bet on how much (if at all) your tax return is going to be. This way you can start looking for that yacht now and save yourself a lot of time when your money arrives.
5) Hire a CPA – Don’t do them! Stop! Do not enter! Sure, math is great. Accountants seem to love it. So why not let them do this math too? You’ve got more important things to do, like eating an entire bag of chocolate-covered potato chips while watching Olympians throw themselves down Russian mountains. Just hope and pray your return covers their fees.